The first big snow of the season fell Wednesday night, which means sledding, a possible white Christmas and ... shoveling.
At first glance, the task may seem more annoying than dangerous, but if you're not careful, it could turn painful.
Associate Professor of Physical Therapy at Creighton University, Judith Gale, and a few of her students created a video with shoveling safety tips.
1. Stand with one leg forward, bending at the knee.
2. Once your shovel is filled with snow, life with your legs.
3. To toss snow aside, make sure you're stepping to the side and rotating the whole body, not just your back.
Lifting snow with the legs is key, said Gale, just like any heavy object. But not all snow is created equal.
“If it's a really wet snow, take much smaller loads,” she said, “but 6 to 8 inches of the fluffy stuff is OK.”
Gale also pointed out the danger in using your arms to do the majority of the work, as opposed to your legs.
“When you use your arms, your heart rate goes up quickly, increasing your chances of a heart attack.”
This time of year, it's inevitable, Gale will see patients with shoveling-related injuries. Slippery ice also sends people her way.
Watch the video below for a 30 second demonstration on how to shovel snow safely.