Save a Trip to the Doctor: Lift Your Fishtank With Your Legs
Back pain. Either you know someone with it or it affects you, and while it’s hard to make better once you have it, it’s incredibly easy to make worse. Years of bad habits—bending over to pick things up without bending your legs, lifting with your back, twisting at odd angles when carrying something heavy—mean that all it might take is a sneeze and you’ve thrown your back out.
It’s an ugly sight, someone with a back injury. They’re twisted and gnarled, and either limp into the emergency room, hunched over in pain—or they’re wheeled in on a gurney. Then some nurse—you know, one of the ones in their discounted scrubs tells you the news. It’s probably a slipped disc. Or a ruptured disc. Either way, you know what that means. You’ll be taking it easy for awhile, and if your livelihood depends on you being upright, that’s a bad thing.
So what does this have to do with fishtanks? Well, if you didn’t notice, some of our tanks are big—real big. And while you’re not going to be carrying them around with water in them (unless you have the strength of a forklift), some of them are still very heavy. It’s not something you’re going to want to do yourself (unless you don’t mind paying a visit to that nurse and her cheap medical scrubs). Instead, invite your buddies over. You know, the ones you lend your tools to and have over to watch the big game. They probably owe you a favor anyways. Either way, a big fish tank is a lot easier to haul around when it’s five guys instead of one.
Another way to avoid seeing anyone in a medical uniform is to use good technique. Don’t keep your legs straight and bend at the waist to pick things up. Instead, bend your knees and bend at the hips. You’ll take the stress off your back, allowing you to lift those heavy tanks without having to worry about a herniated disc—or at least worry a lot less. And when you and your buddies are done moving the tank to wherever it needs to go, maybe there will even be some time for you to crack a couple cold ones and reminisce about the good old days.
So avoid that nurse, the one who’s waiting for you in her scrub pants and scrub tops, and make sure you’re looking out for your back. When you can reach down and pick up your grandchildren, you’ll be glad you did. Maybe you’ll still have that old fishtank, the one the grandkids like to spend hours with their little faces pressed up against, watching the marine world before their eyes. Think about that the next time you think of lifting with your back or bending at the waist—it’s just not worth it.