Proper body mechanics is crucial when it comes to keeping your client comfortable and making sure you stay safe and healthy. This website has a good acronym that we like to use when we’re thinking about the correct way to do a transfer or similar action. It is B.A.C.K.:
- Balance – Feet, shoulders, and hips should be wide apart
- Align – your back over your hips
- Contract – your abdominal muscles
- Knees – make sure to bend them (and not your back)
Always think about your posture (the way you arrange your body when you work) when you are engaging your clients. Just because a client doesn’t have a lot of weight to move, it is good practice to ALWAYS keep your body and muscles in the habit of maintaining a good posture all the time. If you’re looking for something that provides a little more information about body mechanics during a transfer, check out these videos of transfers — one using a gate belt and one without a gate belt. By the way, if you need a gate belt, let us know.
Remember, a transfer can take place anywhere (from bed to wheelchair, wheelchair to toilet, etc.) so it is important to consider your surroundings before engaging in a transfer. Also, if you need help, ASK! That is what we’re here for!
And lastly, a word on the subject of exercise. It is as important for YOU as it is for anyone; in fact, maybe even more since you need to maintain your health in order to do that for others successfully. We know you all work very hard, we really do, and we know you have a lot of other commitments like family, school, and more in addition to your clients, but please try to exercise at least 30 minutes a day. The National Academy of Sports Medicine says that “30 minutes a day is where we see great health benefits” in this article in the Washington Post. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be strenuous. Even a brisk, daily walk (a little faster than you walk normally) for 30 minutes will reduce blood pressure and help with neurological performance. Again, we know you’re busy, but please promise you will try. It would mean a lot to us, your clients, and your families.