Shovel Safely: Dense Snow Presents Challenges

Shovel Safely: Dense Snow Presents Challenges

SWEETWATER COUNTY — Shovel Safely: Those of you who have been shoveling to keep up with the snowfall today know that the snow is especially dense and heavy. When shoveling remember that a single shovelful can weigh up to 25 pounds.

Here are some tips to shovel safe:

If you feel any sort of pain, stop immediately and if needed seek medical assistance.

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Make sure you have the right shovel for you. Some recommendations include, use a shovel with a curved handle to keep your back straight. Make sure the shovel is of an appropriate length, you should be able to slightly bend your knees and hold the shovel comfortably while working.

Sometimes a smaller shovel is better. Each scoop will weigh less and cause less strain.

Warm up and stretch before you start. It is cold out there so don’t make it any harder on yourself than it needs to be.

Technique makes all the difference, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, “If you must lift the snow, lift it properly. Squat with your legs apart, knees bent and back straight. Lift with your legs. Do not bend at the waist. Scoop small amounts of snow into the shovel and walk to where you want to dump it. Holding a shovel of snow with your arms outstretched puts too much weight on your spine. Never remove deep snow all at once; do it piecemeal. Shovel and inch or two; then take another inch off. Rest and repeat if necessary.” In addition to these comments, remember to move your feet rather than twisting.

Be sure to pace yourself, take breaks and gently stretch.

If you are young and healthy consider lending a hand to a neighbor, a few minutes of your help could make a big difference for them.