It’s the most wonderful time of the year! That is, until you have to get outside to shovel your sidewalk and driveway. The chore of shoveling snow combines heavy back lifting with cold weather, making this activity potentially hazardous to your health. We’re sharing some safety tips so you can minimize your risk of an injury this holiday season!

-Clear snow early and often. Begin when the snow has just a light covering, instead of when it becomes  heavy and packed. This may mean you have to go outside more often to shovel, but it will be easier each time and put less stress on your back.

-Warm up your muscles. Spend at least ten minutes exercising lightly before shoveling snow. Shoveling snow can be a rigorous activity for your body. If your muscles are not properly warmed up, you can cause serious injury to yourself.

-Don’t throw the snow over your shoulder or to the side. This requires a twisting motion that puts extra stress on your back when repeated over and over again.

-Push the snow instead of lifting when possible. If you have to lift the snow, lift in small sections. Use proper body mechanics when lifting the snow. This means squatting and using your legs to help you lift, not your back.

-To keep from slipping and falling, make sure that you wear proper footwear with enough traction to keep you from sliding if it’s icy. You can also use aftermarket traction pads or other ways to increase traction, such as Yaktrax.

If you follow these guidelines, you’ll be able to have a happy holiday season, without the extra stress and pain on your back. We’re always happy to share safety tips with you from RPT. If you want to stay up to date with us and hear the latest news, subscribe to our newsletter today!