Tips for Clearing Your Driveway and Sidewalks
The snow has passed. Now comes the work—safely clearing the white stuff from your driveway and sidewalks. And we do mean safely. The Center for Injury Research and Policy of the Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital finds an average of 11,500 people were treated in the emergency rooms each year from 1990 to 2006. One-third of them hurt their backs.
Fortunately, you don’t have to be one of them. Here are some snow-shoveling tips from Cone Health.
- If you have heart disease or haven’t engaged in physical activity in a while, don’t try to remove the snow. The sudden stress could lead to medical problems. A clean driveway isn’t worth a hospital visit. Pay the kid next door.
- Dress for it. Layers of clothing allow you to remove some clothing as you work.
- Don’t walk or drive on the snow. Packed snow becomes heavier and harder to move.
- Push the snow to the edges of your drive way or sidewalk. Walking the snow off the driveway is safer than trying to throw it off. And that way you don’t have to lift it. You can shovel what is left out of the way.
- Use a shovel with a plastic edge on uneven surfaces. Metal edges tend to catch.
- Lift with your legs, not with your back. This means bending the legs, putting one hand low on the shovel handle, then standing up.
- If snow starts sticking to the shovel, spray it with silicon spray or even cooking spray.
- Don’t try to fill the shovel with snow and take frequent breaks.
- Drink plenty of water. You may not sweat, but your body will expel a lot of water as you breathe.
- Have fun. There are snowballs – potentially a lot of them – in the pile on the edge of the driveway….
About the Author
Leigha Jordan is the Injury Prevention Coordinator with Cone Health Emergency and Trauma Services