Proper body mechanics for shoveling snow
Snow becomes quite a nuisance when it blocks everything from your front doors to driveways. Making your sidewalk and wheels free of snow becomes a part of your daily chores during winters. Now removing snow with the help of shovel also requires some techniques to maintain proper body mechanics as if not done that, you will face severe physical problems. In fact snow shoveling contributes majorly to bunch of injuries to the shoulders, muscles and especially to back and spine. Most of these problems are resulted from excessive twisting and bending while you are lifting a heavy load. However, these types of injuries are avoidable with snow shoveling done in a proper way with balanced body mechanics that will prevent your back from getting strained. This blog discusses some tips that you must follow while shoveling snow in winters.
The most basic thing is taking snow shoveling as a form of exercise. You have to prepare your body before starting the job. Don’t start shoveling post eating, consuming tea, coffee or any other caffeinated beverages or after smoking. A little body warm up is required just like you do before an exercise. Your dress should be appropriate, for example, dress in multiple layered clothing to maintain body heat, wear gloves to keep your hands dry and warm, cover your head with a winter head and ensure that your footwear is good which does not let you slip or fall due to bad grip. Keep drinking water or fruit juices before and during snow shoveling to keep your body hydrated. Don’t work though pain, stop if you are hurt or any part of your body pains. Working through the pain will only worsen the problem. Muscle fatigue can be discounted as it is obvious or expected. Taking plenty of breaks is also required especially when the quantity of snow to be removed is huge.
Proper body mechanics during snow shoveling is very critical. Choosing the right shovel is the first and most important thing. Ergonomic shovels with curved shaft provide better leverage and are handy as well. Plastic shovels can be preferred for they are not as heavy as metal ones. Ensure a proper grip. Place your hands further apart for an improved leverage. This will enhance the working efficiency. Proper alignment of spine is very important, keep your back straight and head in such a way that it lies in your spine line. Instead of shoulders and back, bend your knees and tilt your chin a little down. Keep your legs apart while shoveling. Straighten your knees and not back while lifting the shovel. Don’t carry too much load in one lift, divide it in many parts.