Friday, 20 February 2015


As part of the research exercises set at the end of our first group session I was tasked with collecting research into the physical health implication of carrying weights. 

Collecting the research had multiple benefits, most of which had relevance to the design of our outcome. By researching into the health impactions of carrying weights we can consequently design a product that places the least strain on the people carrying it. 

Some of the benefits I could identify have been listed below.
  • Ascertain the best way to carry weight.
  • Identify how our product could reduce strain on carrier. 
  • Common ways people are injured. 
  • Techniques for lifting weight.


Due to the tight timescale to which I am working I collected the research from secondary internet sources to save time. I believe that the decision to collect information from internet sources is appropriate as information on lifting and carrying weights is well researched and freely available.

While looking for relevant information I came across a website called 'Health and Safety Executive' which is in fact a subsidiary aspect of the gov.UK online resource. Such information helped to confirm the reliability of the information featured onsite.  

Although the information featured on the site is specifically geared towards the workplace environment, information that deals with lifting has relevance to our brief.

  • To avoid injuries from manual handling you should avoid lifting tasks wherever possible.
  • If you are unable to avoid lifting tasks there are certain techniques and safety measures that can help to reduce the chance of injury.
  • For any lifting activity take into account;
    • Individual capability.
    • The nature of the load.
    • Environmental conditions.
  • If you need to lift something manually;
    • Reduce the amount of twisting, stooping and reaching.
    • Avoid lifting from floor level or above shoulder height.


  • Things to do before lifting;
    • Remove obstructions from route.
    • For a long lift, plan to take breaks.
    • Keep the load close to the waist.
    • The load should be kept as close to the body while lifting.
    • Adopt a stable position and keep feet wide apart. 
  • At the start of the lift, slight bending of the back, hips and knees is better than fully flexing the back (stooping) or hips and knees (Squatting).
  • Avoid twisting the back or leaning sideways, especially when the back is bent. 
    • Shoulders should be kept facing in the same direction as the hips - turn by moving the feet.
  • Keep your head up while lifting - look forwards.
  • Move smoothly.
  • If you need to readjust how the load is carried, put it down first, then move to the appropriate position. 

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