Online Moving and Assisting of People Level 2 (VTQ)

62 videos, 3 hours and 14 minutes

Course Content

Understanding body movements

Video 16 of 62
5 min 23 sec
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Manual Handling: Importance of Proper Body Movement

Manual handling involves the handler's movement, and it's vital to understand the basics of how our body moves and what we need to consider while making these movements. This knowledge can prevent injuries and help improve the handling process.

Learning from Toddlers: Lifting Correctly

Interestingly, toddlers show us how to lift correctly - they use their large muscles, specifically the gluteus maximus and quads, to lift items. They bend down properly with a stable base, find a good grip, keep their elbows close in, use their legs to stand up, and look forward as they do it. As adults, we tend to rely on other muscles, such as arms, biceps, chest, and back, to lift items, which is often incorrect and can lead to injuries. Therefore, it's important to consider the body's movement during manual handling.

Understanding Your Spine and Movement

The human spine consists of 33 vertebrae with discs in between, giving us the ability to bend forward. However, constantly bending, especially during moving and handling, isn't advisable. For instance, while leaning over a bed to support someone, ensure the bed is at the right height, and you're not trying to move a weight too heavy. You can also engage a second person to assist in the process, thus reducing your range of movement and effort.

Considerations for Body Postures

Supporting someone in a seated position may require you to squat or kneel. This approach helps avoid straining your vertebrae and back muscles, promoting safe handling. Twisting and turning also require caution as they can strain muscles, tendons, and ligaments and potentially cause disc herniation, which can result in paralysis and other issues. All body parts, including hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders, knees, ankles, and hips, are used in manual handling. So, it's important to be mindful of the joints' functionality and potential weaknesses.

The Impact of Fatigue and Continuous Movement

Fatigue and continuous movement can greatly affect your handling ability. For example, your 20th move of the day might be more challenging than the first due to muscle soreness and tiredness. Therefore, always take your time with each movement and avoid taking swift actions.

Maintaining Proper Body Posture and Alignment

If bending is necessary, ensure it's only to a comfortable position. If rolling people, keep their arms and elbows tucked in and the load as close to the body as possible. If you need to lower yourself to a person, ensure you squat or kneel without stretching too far away from your body, as it can change your centre of gravity and cause balance problems, putting more pressure on your joints and muscles.

Conclusion: Avoid Injuries with Correct Body Movement

In summary, while the human body is capable of bending and twisting, we should try to minimise these movements during manual handling. The aim is to keep the spine aligned, not straight. Being aware of your own ability and flexibility is crucial, and it's recommended to follow established practices and guidance to avoid any pressure on the body that could lead to injury.