Successful Manual Handling Training – Step 2

Last week, I shared the initial step in the Pathway to Safe Movement habits. These sequential steps are the foundation of our First Move Programmes, which are designed to make individuals ‘Physically Intelligent’. Being physically intelligent means having the knowledge and skills to effectively utilize one’s body; employing strength, while avoiding strain.

The first step, covered last week, was about acquiring the Right Knowledge.

Now, let’s delve into Step 2, which focuses on the Right Learning Process.

pathway to safe movement habits

Education alone is insufficient to grasp the impact of different manual handling techniques on an individual’s body and how these positions and techniques may either contribute to strain, or alleviate it. To truly understand this, individuals must physically experience the effects that one movement technique has on their bodies and compare it to the unfavourable technique.

For example, experience how it feels using your arms in a lifting task with elbows pointing outwards, versus the desirable technique of elbows pointing downwards. By engaging in a physical activity to compare these techniques, your team will physically experience how the correct technique activates abdominal muscles, protecting the spine and shoulders, while also increasing strength. Conversely, having elbows pointing outwards puts strain on the neck and shoulders, and places twisting stress on the back.

Another example is to perform a twisting activity utilising the Safe Movement Habit of simultaneously moving the feet, instead of planting the feet. By physically experiencing this difference, your team will understand how keeping their feet planted while twisting puts stress on their back and knees, whereas moving the feet literally eliminates tension!

When individuals genuinely feel the effects on their own bodies a moment of clarity occurs, often referred to as an ‘aha moment.’ Their subsequent engagement is not promoted by someone telling them what to but, rather it stems from the realisation that:

“This makes sense to me because my body has informed me.”

By physically experiencing the effects of different movement techniques, individuals may truly understand how their bodies respond and make informed decisions on how to avoid strain and promote overall physical well-being.

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Provention’s First Move programmes equip individuals with the knowledge to move, think and look after their physical well-being, creating habitual movement and preventing injury.
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