Winter has shown itself in the last few weeks and with that comes lots of snow shoveling. There are two important areas to address for safe snow removal. The first is proper body mechanics and the second is staying warm. Here are some general tips for good ergonomics:
- Use an ergonomic shovel with cushioned handles and a handle length appropriate for your height.
- When shoveling, keep your head and neck up, avoid leaning your neck forward.
- Stagger your feet with one foot in front of the other to give yourself a longer reach without bending over. Change which foot is in front occasionally to help change the way your body is working.
- Avoid loading the shovel too heavy in order to decrease strain on your back.
- If you are getting sore or start to hurt while shoveling, do not continue through the pain. Take a break and ask a family member or neighbor for help.
Tips for keeping hands warm while shoveling in these frigid temperatures.
- Keep your hands dry. Wet hands are cold hands. Make sure you have good waterproof warm gloves.
- Do not forget your core. Keeping your core warm through layering will allow your body to pump plenty of warmth to your hands.
- Do not let your fingers get cold. Having to warm up cold fingers is a lot of work versus keeping your fingers nice and toasty.
- Add heat as needed such as hot hands.
If you do experience an injury while shoveling snow in the future or during a different situation, the Milliken Hand Rehabilitation Center is here to help you regain your grip after injury!