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What is the most basic rule of body mechanics?

A Bend from the knees and hips

Proper body mechanics uses the legs to do most of the work. Keep your back straight and locked; do not turn or twist. If you bend, do so at the knees and hips, not the waist. Before lifting or moving a patient, assess how much the patient is able to do. Always ask for assistance from a co-worker if you have any doubts.