Food for Thought

Regarding Back Safety

Blog Img Turkey

From an ergonomic viewpoint, there are some musculoskeletal concerns that come with lifting heavy birds in and out of the oven, and to the table.

So in preparation for the big day, here are some lifting tips to avoid injury…

A 14 pound turkey held close to our bodies is 14 pounds of pressure on our spines. BUT did you know if we reach out only 10 inches holding that same 14 pound bird it translates now to 140 pounds of pressure on our backs????

Backsafe® rule that we teach is Keep the Load Close! When handling hot or wet items when it is impossible to hold it next to your body, you can hold them close by locking your elbows in by your side, to provide stability and to keep the load as close as possible. When setting down or putting in the oven, get as close to the target landing area as possible and then put the front edge onto the table or rack, and then slide in to the desired position. Reverse this motion when lifting from the table or oven.

Remember, the cause of most back and shoulder injuries is insidious “cumulative micro-trauma”. Keeping the Load Close is a wonderful way to help prevent the buildup of micro-trauma that can contribute to making us feel older and less flexible. And who knows, this one little tip may help you to prevent what could be a life altering injury someday!


Bubba Klostermann OT, CEAS II

Occupational Therapist
Certified Ergonomic Assessment Specialist II
Director, Adult Therapy WTRC Abilene