Stay safe this season! When you consider that a shovelful of snow weighs 5 to 7 pounds, you realize how much weight you have to lift to clear your sidewalk or driveway – on average, several hundred pounds! These tips will help keep your back in top shape:
1) Don’t let the snow pile up: Frequent shovelling will allow you to move smaller amounts of snow at once.
2) Pick the right shovel: Use a lightweight pusher-type shovel. If you are using a metal shovel, spray it with Teflon first, so now won’t stick to it.
3) Push, don’t throw: Always push as much of the snow to the side rather than throwing it. That way you avoid lifting heaving shovelfuls of snow, and sudden twisting or turning movements.
4) Bend your knees: If you find you have to lift a shovelful of snow, use your knees and your leg and arm muscles to do the pushing and lifting, while keeping your back straight.
5) Warm up: Before tacking any strenuous activity take the time to warm up with some overall conditioning (a 10-15 minutes walk, even on the spot, should do it), followed by some simple stretching.
6) Take a break: If you are tired take a short break and rest. Shake out your arms and legs. Stop shovelling immediately if you feel chest pain or have back pain. If you have back pain that is severe or that persists for more than a day after shovelling, see a chiropractor. If you have chest pain that is severe, see a medical doctor immediately.
7) Dress for the weather & Stay Hydrated!
Provided by OCA Pamphlet – Lift Light, Shovel Right!
Dr. Luciano Di Loreto, HBSc., DC