Don't Slip Now!
Ice and snow are hazardous. Each year, Canadians slip and fall straining muscles and even breaking bones when they are removing snow. Here are a few tips from occupational therapists to make snow removal safer and easier.
Warm Up Those Muscles
It is important to stretch the muscles involved in snow shovelling before hand to avoid any injury. Stretch your leg muscles and do some spinal stretches and arm swings. A light pushing motion of a small amount of snow will also help to prepare and warm up the body for the arctic onslaught that is ahead.
Choose the Right Muscles
A shovel that is too big for you may mean you have to push and lift 20 pounds of snow; one too small will make a thousand paths and take you much longer. Wear proper footwear. Good treads on winter boots are a must.
A broad-based grasp with your hands spaced shoulder width apart on the handle will provide you with the leverage necessary to complete the task efficiently.
Add Some Sand or Salt
For hard packed snow, consider adding salt or sand to speed up melting or to provide some traction.
Lifting and Bending
Always lift with the larger muscles of your legs and bend at your knees. Avoid bending and lifting solely with your back. When tossing the snow avoid twisting the back -- toss the snow directly in front of you.
Don't Overdo It
Shovelling snow is like any strenuous activity. Plan rest breaks throughout. It¹s not necessary to clear it away as fast as it falls.
Finally, if you can afford it, consider a snow blower!
Adapted from Don't Slip Now by private practice occupational therapist Steve Kuyltjes
- Occupational Therapy Services in...
- Shortcuts for...
- Quick Tips
- All Children Love to Play
- Backpacks: Beasts of Burden
- Barrier-Free Homes
- Buying Special Equipment
- Children with Learning Disabilities
- Coping With Loss
- Don't Slip Now!
- Emotional awareness and emotional memory
- Encouraging social skills in someone with Alzheimer's
- Energy for Everyday Living
- Ergonomics at the Office
- Home Safe Home
- Last-minute gift ideas for a loved one who needs a helping hand
- Last-minute reminders for enjoying the holiday season
- Making the Most of Our Memory
- Managing Multiple Sclerosis
- Pre-Writing Skills for Children Under Five
- Putting Balance Into Your Life
- Re-discover some meaning in your life
- Reducing Caregiver Stress
- Safe at home with Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias
- School Agendas: Enabling Children to Manage their Time
- Take a Moment Strategies for Canadians — The
- Take Heart. You can still do what's important to you!
- Tips for your Ticker
- Using the senses to connect with someone who has Alzheimer's
- Technology for Living Well
- OT Outcomes
- Book Reviews
- Finding an occupational therapist
- Paying for occupational therapy services
- Real-life examples
- Overview of How OT Works