Snow Shoveling Safety
Winter is upon us and with snow in the forecast this week, shoveling snow to clear those sidewalks and driveways is inevitable. This requires a lot of bending and twisting, all of which can injure the spine. It is important to recognize the strain snow shoveling can have on the heart and the body, and take precautions to protect against injuries.
Follow some of these safety measures this winter to help ensure your back doesn’t bear the brunt of your heavy lifting.
# 1. Warming up your muscles with some gentle stretches before you start shoveling will prevent straining.
# 2. Get a good shovel. Be sure it fits your body, a long enough handle, curved handles are best for ergonomics, a plastic shovel blade is generally lighter than metal, smaller blades ensure a smaller load which puts less strain on the back.
#3. Bend at the knees and hold in your core (abdominal) muscles whenever lifting. Don’t try to lift the snow, pushing the snow is easier on the back. If lifting is necessary, bend at the knees and keep your back straight.
# 4. Take frequent breaks , stretch your back, drink water during breaks to ensure you don’t become dehydrated.
# 5. Of course, if you experience pain of any kind, stop immediately and get help.