Skip to main content

A study released a couple of years back found that snow shoveling injuries send 11,000 Americans to hospital every year.

These included injuries caused by slips and falls, back problems, muscle strains, and overexertion that leads to heart stress and even heart attack particularly in older people.

So how do you shovel without finding yourself in the emergency room a short time later? We've picked out some safety tips.

Set your body right: As Time describes, you should keep the shovel and your limbs as close to your body as possible. Use your legs to push snow rather than throwing it, as this can cause you to twist your back.

Lift with your legs: Another back safety tip and it works for all lifting. Use your legs to push up so you're not putting undue stress on your spine.

Pick the right shovel:Popular mechanics says you want something that's sturdy but lightweight. Plastic shovels tend to be better for this than metal ones, ideally with an adjustable handle length as if it's too short it can cause back problems, too long and you can't push snow as easily.

Start early and take breaks: It's easier to shovel 3 inches of snow now, 3 inches later, and then 3 inches later again than it is to shovel 9 inches in one go. Take frequent breaks so you're not overexerting yourself too.

If you have a snowblower: Snowblowers make life easier for sure, but they're also dangerous machines in themselves. You should make sure it's shut off before you clear a clogged chute, and don't wear loose clothing that could get tangled in it.

Have the right footwear: Whether using a snowblower or a shovel, having a good pair of winter boots with decent traction will reduce the risk of a nasty slip.

Or just hire someone else to do it: Hey, at least your health isn't at risk then.

Next Up

Blaine VFW video screengrab crop N West Twitter

Authorities now looking into MN lawmaker's report of assault

Video shows Rep. Nolan West being grabbed and pushed out of a public event.

TajPharmaImages WIkimedia Commons ivermectin

COVID treatments: Essentia Health to help test 3 existing meds

The clinical trial includes the much-discussed drug ivermectin.

Screen Shot 2022-01-24 at 3.48.57 PM

Suspect crashes into Minneapolis snow plow, fires shots at plow driver

The plow driver was pulled to the side of the road when the incident happened.

cold Minneapolis

Coldest day of the winter is possible this week in Minnesota

An air temp of -30F isn't out of the question too far from the metro.

polley freeborn county jail roster jan 2022 resize

District fires school counselor accused of sexually assaulting student

He's been charged with felony criminal sexual conduct.

Moorhead family

Authorities pinpoint source of CO that killed family of 7

The victims, all members of Hernandez-Pinto family, were found dead in a Moorhead home.

polymet mining

Court issues mixed ruling on PolyMet, orders more analysis on water permit

The court, however, overruled several challenges to the permit.

SPPD Kua person of interest 01-24-2022

Police release images of woman driving stolen Audi that had puppy inside

It's not clear whether she was involved in the vehicle theft.

J R Jones - Anoka County Jail 2021.10.16 - Resize crop

Fatal hit-and-run driver can avoid prison time with plea deal

He was charged with striking and killing a 56-year-old who was walking her dog.

Screen Shot 2022-01-24 at 11.21.49 AM

Alex Rodriguez: 'I'm not a Packers fan'

He was at Lambeau screaming "Cheese!" and "Let's go!" during the playoff game against the 49ers.

Related

How to shovel snow without getting hurt

Shoveling snow results in thousands of injuries every year.

Video: Wrestler shoveling snow in a singlet is an online hit

We realize that temperature's on Friday weren't cold by Minnesota standards, but there still won't be many people shoveling snow in a singlet.

Snow in the Twin Cities: What you need to know on Tuesday

More than a foot of snow fell in the metro area.

snow, blowing snow

Duluth has a plan to help residents who can't shovel snow

It launched a new program to connect those who struggle to shovel with those who can help.

Get ready, more than a foot of snow set to slam into Minnesota

It's going to make travel extremely dangerous on Monday.

snow

Here's how much snow fell in Minnesota on Sunday

Some localized areas saw more than expected.

How to keep your house cool without AC

When it's scorching in Minnesota, it can be particularly tough at nights.