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Winter 101: Lift Light to Shovel Right!

January 22, 2018 by Dr. Rob0
Chiropractic-Snow-Shovelling.jpg

Winter means snow.  And for many of us, it also means pulling the shovel out, to get rid of it.

A lot of us are quick to get outside and propel that snow as far and as fast as we can.  But the truth is, we’re not doing ourselves any favours that way.  In fact, it’s probably making it worse.

We have a saying:  LIFT LIGHT TO SHOVEL RIGHT!

The Ontario Chiropractic Association has a few tips to make it easy on you and your back this winter:

  • PUSH IT, DON’T THROW IT – If possible, push the snow to one side.  A lot of injuries happen when people twist/turn and lift snow that is too heavy for them.  If you have to throw it, keep your body straight.

  • PICK THE RIGHT SHOVEL – Use a lightweight, non-stick, push-style shovel. A smaller blade will require you to lift less snow and a curved handle (like the one below) will require less bending.
(photo courtesy of Wirecutter.com)
  • BEND AT THE KNEES – Use your knees, leg and arm muscles to do the pushing and lifting while keeping your back straight.  And as we mentioned, avoid the twisting and tossing that you see many people do!

Using these tips should help you to avoid injury, while you clear your sidewalks, stairs and driveways of the snow.  Also, make sure you remember a few more things before you even step out the door:  stay hydrated (you are exercising after all), dress in layers and make sure your footwear has a good grip, so you don’t slip on any ice under the snow!

Be Well.  Stay Well.


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