It's here folks, there's no avoiding it. The big, white, cold monster called snow.
Here are a few tips and tricks for doing the dreaded winter chore a little bit safer:
Shovelling snow, like any strenuous activity, is a lot of work. You need to warm up your muscles before you start to avoid cramps and strains. Think of it as a sporting activity, give yourself a good stretch and warm up before you begin.
Use the Proper Equipment
Using the right shovel is more important than most people think. You need to use a shovel with a curved handle to reduce the amount of bending over that you are doing while you shovel.
The bent-handle shovel is designed using the principles of biomechanical stress to the low back for pushing tasks. When push force is applied as the hands move vertically from the hips, either above or below hip level, the off-axis forces create increased strain to the low back. The user applies push forces through the midsection of the trunk to avoid unnecessary low back strain. However, this mechanical advantage is optimal only for pushing the snow, not lifting. - www.humantech.com
Push DON'T Lift
Pushing, instead of lifting snow simply saves energy and lower back strain.
Keep your feet hip-width apart.
Bend your knees and keep your back straight.
Try not to twist your torso when lifting snow.
Shovel small amounts of snow at a time. Don't throw the snow into a pile; instead walk it over to where you want to pile it.
Take Frequent Breaks
Its not a race. You are allowed to take as many breaks as you need. Shovelling is hard work and if you're not used to physical activity, it can be very straining on your body.
Brrr... We know what the wind is like here.
We know what we need to do.
Layer, layer, layer.
Remember: It's easier to remove layers than it is to trudge inside and add more on top of your already wet clothes.
You can read more about shovelling snow safely and find more information here: https://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/ergonomics/snow_shovelling.html Be safe!