A Smarter Way to Shovel
Snow removal can be a strenuous activity. Heart attacks are not uncommon when shoveling snow. Back injuries are very common among shovelers, as well. A shovelful of snow can weigh anywhere between 15-25 pounds. Multiply that by the number of scoops you take clearing your driveway or sidewalk following a heavy snowfall, and you’ve cleared hundreds of pounds of snow. Here are some tips to avoid back injury while removing snow:
Warm up your muscles. It is always a good idea to stretch and do light exercises for a few minutes before heading out to shovel.
Choose the right equipment. Use a shovel that fits your body size and strength. Choose a shovel with a handle length that is right for your size. If a shovel handle is too short, you will be bent too far forward while you’re shoveling. This will raise the risk of injuring your back.
Lift properly. Try to push the snow, rather than lifting it. If you absolutely must lift the snow, keep your back straight. Squat with your legs apart and your knees bent. Avoid bending at your waist. Do not throw snow over your shoulders. Keep your arms close to your body and always scoop small amounts of snow into your shovel.
Take your time. Take a 2-3 minute break for every 10 minutes of shoveling.
Snow throwers help alleviate some of the strain involved with snow removal. However, even throwers don’t eliminate all the risk of back injury. Snow throwers are often heavy, themselves. Sometimes people don’t allow the machines to do the work. They force them through the snow and put a lot of unnecessary strain on their bodies.
Snow Thrower Safety Tips. Get help if you must lift the thrower from its storage position. Remember to remove any obstacles from the path of the snow thrower. Never leave the snow thrower on and unattended. Do not use the snow thrower to clear a gravel road or a driveway covered in rocks. And never consume alcohol before or during operating a snow thrower.