Tips to avoid injury while shoveling snow
In 2007, more than 118,000 where treated for snow shoveling emergencies
Meteorologist Brent Watts
March 2, 2013
Shoveling snow can be strenuous, even for the most physically fit person. According to the AARP, a 145-pound person burns almost 400 calories an hour shoveling snow.
In 2007, there were more than 118,000 people treated for injuries related to shoveling snow or removing ice, according to the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commision.
Below are a few tips that you should follow when getting ready to take on driveway full of snow.
- Warm up. Before digging in, jog in place or run up stairs and stretch to get your muscles warmed up.
- Use an ergonomic shovel. Ergonomically correct shovels are typically much lighter than normal shovels and have a contoured handle that's designed to reduce or eliminate bending and decrease lifting. Remember, each shovelful of snow can weigh some 20 pounds
- Use the proper shoveling technique. Push the snow instead of lifting it, and be sure not to overload the shovel. If you have to lift, bend your knees and lift with your legs (not your back!), and avoid twisting or throwing snow over your shoulder.
- Take breaks. Every 15 minutes or so, stand up straight, walk around, and drink water to avoid dehydration and overheating.
- Listen to your body. Pay attention to your body's signals, such as pains, shortness of breath, or chest discomfort.
- Don't shovel: Some people simply should ditch shoveling duties. Wainwright recommends that men and women over the age of 45, especially those who are not physically active or have a history of a heart condition, let someone else do the shoveling.
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