As winter continues and the chance of snow increases, it is important to make sure we know how to shovel without increasing our risk of injury. Shoveling snow remains a frequent cause of orthopedic injury due to improper mechanics putting undue stress on the body. With appropriate preparation, equipment, and technique, snow shoveling can be a safer and less daunting task!
- > Shovel early and often, don’t wait for snow to add up
- > Do a warm up
- > Dress warmly and wear slip resistant shoes
- > Stay hydrated
- > Lift smaller, more manageable loads
- > Use ergonomic (curved handle), lightweight shovel
- > Take a break every 10-15 minutes – drink water, stretch, keep warm
- > Never remove deep snow all at once
- > If the ground is icy or slick, spread sand or salt over the area to help create foot traction
- > Ask for help!
- > Stand with feet about shoulder width apart
- > Maintain wide grip on shovel (about 12 inches apart) and always keep shovel close to you
- > Squat with legs apart and bending at the knees while keeping back straight
- > If possible, push the snow straight ahead
- > If lifting snow, scoop a small amount of snow into shovel
- > Lift with your legs, not your back!
- > Dump snow in front of you or walk to where you want it- do not twist your body or throw snow!