Incorporating Proper Ergonomics into Grocery Shopping

Tips for incorporating ergonomic principles into grocery shopping to avoid injury.

How many times a day do you think about your posture or check to ensure you are using proper ergonomics? Probably not as much as you should. Incorporating proper body mechanics and ergonomic principles into your daily routine is critical to preventing discomfort and musculoskeletal disorders.


You can find opportunities to improve ergonomics in your everyday life. Any time your body is at risk of moving in awkward positions and/or repetitively lifting items, practicing proper ergonomics reduces your risk of injury. One common activity that regularly involves awkward body angles and frequent lifting is grocery shopping.

Grocery Shopping Ergonomics

Here are some tips to incorporate proper body mechanics into your weekly grocery shopping routine.

When Shopping:

  • Use a grocery cart and push it in front of you with both hands
  • Use both hands to pick up large/heavy items
  • Engage your core and use your legs when placing heavy items on the bottom of your cart
  • Use a full-hand grasp when picking up items, avoid palm down and pinch grips
  • Use sturdy bags and avoid overpacking

Hard to Reach Items:

  • Squat and maintain your body weight centered over your legs when lifting items from lower shelves
  • Avoid bending excessively at the lower back
  • Ask for help to get something off a high shelf
  • Slide hard to reach items closer to you on the shelf before lifting

Unloading Groceries from the Vehicle:

  • Get out of the car and go to the door where the groceries are located to avoid twisting to obtain items from a seat in the back
  • Take multiple trips and ensure not to overload yourself with excess weight from multiple bags

As you move through the motions of your every day, keeping proper ergonomics and body mechanics in mind can help your body work most efficiently and comfortably while reducing your risk of injury.

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