Schaumburg Hardware Shares Some Snow Shoveling Safety Tips

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Schaumburg Hardware has a new location at 604 W. Wise Rd. Schaumburg, IL and is sharing some snow shoveling tips on their new website.

Schaumburg Hardware has a new location at 604 W. Wise Rd. in Schaumburg, IL and is sharing some snow shoveling tips for their customers this season.
According to a study in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine, US hospitals treat about 11,500 injuries a year from people shoveling snow.

The study said the activity places extraordinary demands on the cardiovascular system and can raise heart rates higher than limits set for aerobic exercise. Freezing temperatures also constrict blood vessels, adding stress to the heart. This accounts for the dramatic increase in heart attacks after a heavy snow fall.

Tips for shoveling snow safely…

Warm up before you start. Even if you are in great shape, shoveling snow is going to use different muscles and place unique demands on your muscles. Doctors recommend that everyone warm up their muscles and also stretch before going outside.

Avoid smoking, caffeine and a large meal before you shovel snow.

Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated while you are shoveling snow.

Wear layers. Layers of clothing will keep your muscles warm and flexible. You can pull off a layer as you warm up. Make sure to keep your hands and head covered.

Start out slow and easy. The average shovelful of snow can weigh 5 to 10 pounds. The average driveway will hold hundreds of pounds of snow to shovel. Don't load up your shovel, slow and steady will keep you from injury.

Protect you back by keeping the shovel close to your body and keep your back straight. Use a shoulder width stance and keep your stomach tight. Bend from the knees and use your legs to lift and push. Push the snow as much as possible rather than lifting. When you have to, lift by straightening your legs without bending at the waist.

Don't hold your breath while lifting or pushing, this raises blood pressure and increases the risk of fainting.

Use the correct shovel. Your snow shovel should be about chest high. Too short and you are forced to bend over to lift the load. Too long and it makes lifting snow hard on your back. Pick a shovel with a smaller blade to keep the load light. A pusher type snow shovel is the best for injury prevention. Many snow shovels have a combination blade that can be used as a pusher and for lifting.

Studies have shown that the ergonomic snow shovels can cause back and wrist problems from the awkward way you have to twist the shovel to unload snow. A basic shovel with proper form is probably the most versatile tool to have.

Plan your snow shoveling. If possible, start working when the snow is not too deep. Push as much as possible with good posture and form. Pace yourself and take breaks. Use a Teflon or silicone spray to keep the snow from sticking to the shovel. You can also use WD-40, cooking spray, petroleum jelly or wax.

Hope these ideas help... or just hire the kid next door.

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Jacy Elsesser
Schaumburg Hardware
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