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Lift Light, Shovel Right

When you consider that a shovelful of snow weighs 5 to 7 pounds, you realize how much weight you have to lift to clear your sidewalk or driveway- on average, several hundred pounds! These tips will help keep your back in top shape.

1. Don’t let the snow pile up: Frequent shoveling will allow you to move smaller amounts of snow at once.

2. Pick the right shovel: Use a light weight pusher type shovel.

3. Push, do not throw: Always push the snow to the side, don’t throw it. That way you avoid heavy lifting shovelfuls of snow, and sudden twisting or turning movements.

4. Bend your knees: If you find you have to lift a shovelful of snow, use your knees and your leg and arm muscles to do the pushing and lifting, while keeping your back straight.

5. Take a break: If you feel tired or short of breath, stop and take a rest. Shake out your hands and legs. STOP immediately if you feel chest pain or back pain. If you have back pain that persists for more than a day after shoveling, see a chiropractor. If the chest pain is severe, see a medical doctor immediately.

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