Save Your Back While Shoveling

Wednesday December 18, 2013

Teresa-452px"The most important part of preventive health care is maintaining good health habits." Teresa Taylor | ttaylor@peabodyinc.com Snow removal can be hard on your body when you have to clear a large area with only a shovel, especially after a heavy snow. Overexerting yourself while shoveling is not only bad for your heart, it’s bad for your back too. Avoid injuries with these ergonomics tips:
  • Warm up your muscles before shoveling by walking around for a few minutes or marching in place. Then stretch your arms and legs to allow your muscles to work more efficiently.
  • Use the correct shovel for the task. A smaller blade will allow you to lift a smaller load, but there will be less strain on your body.
  • Stand with your feet at hip width apart to maintain your balance while keeping the shovel close to your body. Then, bend at the knees, not your back, and tighten your abdominal muscles as you lift the load on the shovel.
  • If you need to move a load to one side of your body, re-position your feet to face the direction in which the load is going.
  • Use a D-grip handle to provide a hand placement position that is more angled to the mounting surface.