Back pain is common among beekeepers for various reasons:-
Bending over open hives
Lifting of beehives
The beekeeper's age
There are simple things that we can do to reduce the problems...
We can raise the height of the hive on a suitable stand, which also has the benefit of providing ventilation and air flow underneath the hive where it can become damp. The raised starting point, that this gives, makes it easier to bring a frame from the box up to face level for examination. This has several benefits:-
Lifting is a problem owing to the shape of brood boxes, supers or assembled hives... The centre of gravity of the item being lifted is always well away from the lifter's body.
By employing good lifting practice many of the risks are reduced although they are rarely eliminated.
Stand directly in front of the hive or supers, place the feet about shoulder width apart. Place one foot in front of the other for balance. Bend the knees and tighten the stomach muscles. Using both hands, grip firmly and pull close to the body. Use your legs, NOT your back. lift by straightening the legs. Keep your back straight, don't bend at the waist. To turn, shuffle the feet around, do NOT twist at the waist or swivel at the hip.
A simple modification used by Robin Dartington, is to make the supers half of the normal width and then use two of them side by side on the hive, but when being carried one sits on top of the other, Thus the weight is much closer to the body and easier to handle.
The diagram at left shows a good carrying stance whatever the load is, but in the process does illustrate the carrying of two stacked half width supers.