Stay safe while shovelling this season
When you consider that a shovelful of snow weighs 10 to 20 pounds, you realize how much weight you have to lift to clear your sidewalk or driveway — on average, several hundred pounds!
Shovelling snow can be a pain in more ways than one. These tips will help keep your back in top shape:
NB If you have a heart condition or breathing problems please don't even attempt to shovel your snow.The load placed on your cardio-respiratory system is very high especially in the cold.
• Don’t let the snow pile up: If the weather report calls for several days of snow, frequent shovelling will allow you to move smaller amounts of snow at once. It’s far less strenuous in the
- Put less snow on the shovel at one time.
• Pick the right shovel: Use a lightweight pusher-type shovel. If you are using a metal shovel, spray it with Teflon first, so snow won’t stick to it.
• Push, don’t throw: Always push the snow to the side rather than throw it. That way you avoid lifting heavy shovelfuls of snow, and sudden twisting or turning movements.
• Bend your knees: As with any heavy object, you need to use your knees, and leg and arm muscles to do the pushing and lifting, while keeping your back straight.
• Take a break: If you feel tired or short of breath, stop and take a rest. Shake out your arms and legs. Stop shovelling immediately if you feel chest pain or 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 doctor immediately.