Winter Safety Words of Wisdom

Follow these simple rules to safely shovel snow and get stuff done around the house this season.

Winter brings joy—but also plenty of risks for injury and accidents. It can be especially demanding for caregivers, as the weather and holidays can create even more strenuous activities around the house.

Snow shoveling
Everyone’s least favorite winter chore is also one of the most common causes of back injuries and pain. Whether you’re shoveling your own sidewalk or someone else’s, follow these tips:

  • Pick the right snow shovel for the job. Many ergonomic shovels with curved handles or adjustable handle lengths can help minimize bending.
  • Get your blood moving before you start shoveling with some light stretches, a brisk walk or simply marching in place. Don’t forget to limber up your arms and shoulders with a body hug too.
  • When shoveling, push the snow to one side rather than lifting it. This will help reduce back strain.
  • Use ergonomic lifting techniques—bend at the hips and knees, not the back—and avoid twisting your back to move snow to a new location.
  • Pace yourself. If possible, remove unwanted snow over a period of days, not hours. This will lessen the strain on your arms and back.
  • Take a short break every 10 to 15 minutes so you can stretch your arms, back and shoulders, and keep everything warm and flexible.
  • When possible, use a snow blower. This will put less stress on your lower back, and significantly cut your shoveling time.
  • You can also hire a snow removal service or ask someone close to you to lend a helping hand.

Holiday decorations
When it’s time to take down holiday decorations, make sure the ladder is always on a flat, level surface to prevent it from falling over—you don’t want to risk breaking a bone. Throw away any light strings or extension cords with frayed or bare wires to avoid potential fires next holiday season.

Dryers, heating vents and gutters
When doing laundry, remember to clean the dryer lint screen after every use—this prevents fire and can actually help laundry dry faster. Heating vents should be clear from any curtains or flammable items. Gutters should be free from leaves and ice; clogged gutters can result in water damage. 

An adult shoveling snow off of a brick sidewalk.

Subscribe to BlueNews

Get great tips for healthy living, plus the latest news about our benefits, wellness resources, and rewards programs.

You might also like:

Older woman wearing sunglasses in the city

5 Tips for Everyday Eye Health

Read Article

Exercise That’s Good for Your Eyes

Read Article
Brain fact infographic

What a Modern Lifestyle Does to the Brain

Read Article

We use cookies on this website to give you the best experience and measure website usage. By continuing to use this website, you consent to these cookies.
For more information, view our privacy policy.