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When lifting a low-lying load is it better to look straightforwards or tuck your chin in?

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  • When lifting a low-lying load is it better to look straightforwards or tuck your chin in?

    In May 2005 I initiated a discussion on the Ergoweb list server
    concerning whether training in lifting techniques be made more
    effective. On 23 Oct 2005 Mike Papakyriakou of York University asked
    whether it is really helpful to "look forward" when you lift to help
    keep the spine "neutral"; is that a meaningful or useful concept?
    He referred to some lifting instructions he had seen (such as those
    issued by the U.S. Army Center For Health Promotion And Preventive
    Medicine) that advised you to "look forward" when you lift whereas
    others advised you to tuck your chin in. Nobody replied (or at least not
    I seem to remember that Sedgewick and Gormley (1998) used to say
    something similar but that was probably due to the fact that it helped
    weightlifters to do well (i.e. probably it was to stop their chins from
    hitting the bar). However, I do not recollect the details.

    So the question remains; when lifting a low-lying load is it better to
    look forward or tuck your chin in? Or doesn't it really matter?
    David McFarlane
    Ergonomist, WorkCover Authority
    New South Wales, Australia
    A. Sedgwick and J. Gormley, (1998), "Training for lifting; an unresolved
    ergonomic issue?", Appl Ergon. 29, (5): 395-8.
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