It’s that time of year again. Temperatures are dropping below freezing and snow and ice are on the ground. During this time, we start to see different injuries caused by falls and shoveling. About 1 million Americans a year are injured from slips and falls. The risk of falling on ice during the winter months drastically increases. Over 800,000 people are hospitalized due to injuries from a fall, mostly with head injuries or hip fractures. Shoveling the snow can also lead to injuries. Common injuries from shoveling snow are injuries to the back, shoulders, and muscle strains.
Here are some tips to take to decrease your risks of slipping and falling in the ice and injuries from shoveling the snow.
PREVENT FALLS ON ICE
Wear some shoes with good traction when walking outdoors. Make sure you place your whole foot on the ground when you take a step.
Walk don’t run. Take your time when walking outside and pay attention. Ice can be anywhere
Walk like a penguin. Spread your feet apart and point your toes out. Slightly bend your knees and take small steps. Extend your arms.
PREVENT INJURIES WHEN SHOVELING SNOW
Use the right shovel. Use an ergonomic shovel. An ergonomic shovel gives you better support and comfort for your wrists and shoulders while shoveling heavy snow.
Shovel the correct way. Instead of lifting the shovel push the snow away with the shovel. If you must lift the shovel do not fill the shovel all the way.
Watch your body mechanics!
1. Bend your knees not your back
2. Lift with your legs not your back
3. Don’t twist your back
4. Keep your shoulder blades together
5. Take a break
Remember, it’s very important to listen to your body when you are shoveling the snow. Shoveling the snow is an extreme workout.
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