With all the snow coming down across the East Coasts of Canada and the USA...I thought I'd take a moment to share how to shovel snow safely.
I have in the past...being so short, shovelled snow in a poor technique and hurt my back significantly. It is no fun to be laid up for a week with your back out!
- Always try to push snow rather than lifting it.
- Protect your back by lifting properly and safely:
- stand with feet at hip width for balance
- hold the shovel close to your body
- space hands apart to increase leverage
- bend from your knees not your back
- tighten your stomach muscles while lifting
- avoid twisting while lifting
- walk to dump snow rather than throwing it
- When snow is deep, shovel small amounts (1-2 inches at a time) at a time.
- If the ground is icy or slippery, spread salt, sand or kitty litter to create better foot traction.
- Shovelling snow is strenuous activity that is very stressful on the heart.
- Exhaustion makes you more susceptible to frostbite, injury and hypothermia.
- Stop shovelling and call 911 if you have:
- discomfort or heaviness in the chest, arms or neck
- unusual or prolonged shortness of breath
- a dizzy or faint feeling
- excessive sweating or nausea and vomiting