Principles of Ergonomics, Body
Mechanics and Body Alignment
NATCEP Day Twelve
• Define & discuss ergonomics as it applies to the STNA
• Define body mechanics
• Identify & demonstrate the rules of good body mechanics
– SKILL: Transfer Person Using Mechanic Lift
– SKILL: Transfer Person Using Sit-to-Stand Lift
• Demonstrate general principles for lifting and moving residents
Moving the Person up in Bed with an Assistive Device
Position Person on Side
Transfer from Bed to Wheelchair
Transfer from Wheelchair to Bed
• Describe correct body alignment
• Explain why correct body alignment is important
• Demonstrate correct body alignment
• Adapting the environment using techniques
and equipment to prevent injury and
provide more efficient care.
• Shared responsibility
• Gaining and using skills for properly caring for
• Facilitating a safe workplace, work environment and
• Describes the body movements used
when you move a resident or an object
– Make the best use of strength and avoid
fatigue and injury
Rules of Body Mechanics
• Use as many large muscles or groups of large muscles
• Stand erect!
• Place the feet apart, with the knees bent, the width
of your shoulders when lifting – broad base of
• Be a close as possible to what you are lifting or
• Push, pull or roll, if possible, rather than lift a heavy
• Use your arms to support the object.
Rules of Body Mechanics
• Work in the direction of your efforts, not
against them. Avoid twisting!
• Always count with the person you’re working
with and lift/move on the same count.
• Use 2 people when moving residents who
cannot assist you.
• Pivot and turn with short steps or turn our
whole body when changing directions.
• Use mechanical lifts or other devices per facility
policy and manufacturers’ recommendations.
• Don’t follow plan of care or policy when moving
resident = neglect!
• Supine: The back-lying position
• Prone: Lying on the abdomen (stomach)
with the head turned to one side.
• Lateral: The side-lying position
• Fowler’s: A semi-sitting position with the
head of the raised between 45-60 degrees
General Principles for Lifting and
Moving the Resident
• FIRST: explain the procedure to the resident first
• Protect privacy!
• Give the most support to the heaviest parts of the
• Hold the resident close to your body for best support
• Use smooth and steady, not jerky, motions.
• Lock the bed and chair!
• Elevate the bed if possible when moving or
repositioning a bedfast resident.
• Use draw sheet when indicated to avoid shearing and
tearing of skin.
• Use the gait belt around the resident’s waist for safety.
Correct Body Alignment
– Erect, not forward or extended backward
• Spinal Cord
– Straight, normal position
– Depends on position of person
– Walking, not slanted forward
– Neither flexed or extended
– Straight in line with the thighs
Importance of Correct Body Alignment
Strain not placed on joints, muscles or tissue
Prevents skin breakdown
Promotes sense of well being