For better balance and for less strain and stress, the “same side hand and foot” method is always best
Why is the Same Side Hand & Foot method preferred for pushing/pulling tasks?
One of the concepts in Safety in Motion is the “line of strength and balance”.
When we push, pull, or reach from a sideways position, our center of gravity stays between our ankles. As one leg does the work of pushing and pulling, the other leg provides a brace which maintains our balance.
Working sideways (“same side hand & foot”), when doing these types of tasks, allows us to take advantage of our line of strength and balance. If we do slip or lose our grip, we’re in a better position to recover.
By contrast, if we push, pull, or reach from a facing forward or backwards position, our center of gravity starts between our ankles, but as we lean in while pushing or pulling, our center of gravity quickly shifts past both ankles.
If we slip, or lose our grip, we don’t have a way to brace ourselves quickly because both legs are being used to lean into the work (when pushing or reaching) or to lean away from the work (when pulling). As a result, we can’t shift our weight quickly enough to regain our balance and we have less chance of recovering.
When working or watching others do work consider the same side hand & foot technique. Approaching tasks from a sideways position allows us to take advantage of our line of strength and balance. If the unexpected does happen, we are in the best position to recover without injury.