January 16 ,2019
|Over One-Quarter of the Entire World’s Population Doesn’t Get Enough Exercise Get your masi polar ergonomic snow shovel and get some some exercise while you save your back.
About 1.4 billion people around the globe – about one-quarter of all the adults on earth – aren't getting enough physical activity in their day-to-day lives. According to a study from the World Health Organization, people who don't exercise enough daily are at higher risk for cancer, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, to start. To keep healthy, you need a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous, strenuous activity every week. According to the 2016 study, only one-third of women and one-fourth of men were not getting the recommended amounts. The countries with the highest rates of inactivity were mostly Middle Eastern, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Iraq, as well as American Samoa. Over 50% of adults in these areas were not getting enough physical activity. Meanwhile, 40% of all U.S. adults, 14% of Chinese adults, and 36% of British adults were not active enough. In addition to the high rates of inactivity, the study found that these rates are staying stagnant despite growing research that proves how vital exercise is to health. In fact, inactivity is twice as high in richer countries versus poorer ones, and even increased during the years 2001-2016 by 5%. One big reason may be because sedentary occupations are becoming the norm in richer countries, while poorer countries have more active occupations.
When the driveway and walkways are coated in a thick blanket of snow, it is time to get a shovel out for what some consider to be a dreaded chore. But before you tackle the first snowfall of the season, take some time to read these safety snow shoveling tips to help avoid any potential injuries.
Snow shoveling can lead to a number of health risks for many people, from back injuries to heart attacks. The mix of cold temperatures and physical exertion increases the workload on the heart,¹ which may increase the risk of a heart attack for some. According to the American Heart Association, even walking through heavy, wet snow can place strain on your heart.
The following tips can help keep you safer when you set out to shovel:
- Warm up. Warm your muscles before heading out to shovel by doing some light movements, such as bending side to side or walking in place.
- Push rather than lift. Pushing the snow with the shovel instead of lifting can help reduce the strain on your body. When lifting snow, bend your knees and use your legs when possible.
- Choose your shovel wisely. Ergonomically-designed shovels can help reduce the amount of bending you have to do.
- Lighten your load. Consider using a lighter-weight plastic shovel instead of a metal one to help decrease the weight being lifted.
- Hit the pause button. Pace yourself and be sure to take frequent breaks. Consider taking a break after 20 to 30 minutes of shoveling, especially when the snow is wet.
- Consider multiple trips. Consider shoveling periodically throughout the storm to avoid having to move large amounts of snow at once.
- Keep up with snowfall. Try to shovel snow shortly after it falls, when it is lighter and fluffier. The longer snow stays on the ground, the wetter it can become. Wet snow is heavier and harder to move.
- Wear layers. Dress in layers and remove them as you get warm to help maintain a comfortable body temperature.
- Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated while shoveling.
A national study² found that the most common shoveling-related injuries were to the lower back. Cardiac-related injuries account for only 7% of all injuries, but they were the most serious in nature. If you do not exercise on a regular basis, are middle-aged or older, or have any health conditions, such as heart disease or high blood pressure, you should check with your doctor before doing any strenuous shoveling. Consider using a snow blower or snow removal service as an alternative means of snow removal.
Snow and Ice Removal Requirements
Snow and ice not only pose a potential risk to you but also to others. As a property owner, you are responsible for making a reasonable effort to keep public walking areas around your property clear of snow and ice. Pre-treating your walkways and other paved surfaces with an anti-icing product can help make snow and ice removal easier.
Consider stocking up on ice melt in advance, as it sometimes sells out during long winters. You can store unused ice melt in an airtight container, out of reach from children and pets. Be aware that rock salt can damage brick, stone, asphalt and concrete walkways.
Be sure to check your local codes and ordinances regarding snow and ice removal requirements.
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Snow shoveling is part of almost every snow contract. Whether it is shoveling steps, keeping the entrance of a doorway free of snow and ice buildup or when clearing a tight area too small for the plow to reach, ensuring your safety is #1 priority. Below are seven tips for Safe Snow Shoveling to keep in mind.
- 1. Snow removal often happens in the dark of night. Night traffic doesn’t stop for snow removal crews. In order to ensure safety, consider adding a safety reflector on your shovel. The Masi Polar Plus snow pusher ergonomic durable adjustable efficient shovel, has a reflective strip near the handle of the shovel for increased visibility. Safety vests or jackets are another way to increase visibility and ensure safety. Plan for the Personal Protective Equipment you will need this winter.
- 2. Long hours spent doing snow removal can take a toll on your body. Proper ergonomics when shoveling can help prevent an injury. Proper ergonomics of shoveling suggest staying on top of the snow. Don’t let too much snow build up before trying to shovel. The sooner you can get out there and shovel the better. Clear the snow every few inches instead of waiting for the snow to build up or stop before you haul your shovels outside. The Finnish quality handle of the Snow Plow Snow Pusher was also designed for a comfortable and ergonomically correct position when shoveling snow. Designed to fit bulky, gloved hands to keep you warm and safe , The Mais Polar plus snow pusher shovel will keep you comfortable and powerful to push through the snow.
After shoveling the heavy, 18-inch layer of snow that fell overnight on my sidewalk and driveway, my back hurt, my left shoulder ached, and I was tired. Was my body warning me I was having a heart attack, or were these just the aftermath of a morning spent toiling with a shovel? Now that I’m of an AARP age, it’s a question I shouldn’t ignore.
Snow shoveling is a known trigger for heart attacks. Emergency rooms in the snowbelt gear up for extra cases when enough of the white stuff has fallen to force folks out of their homes armed with shovels or snow blowers.
What’s the connection? Many people who shovel snow rarely exercise. Picking up a shovel and moving hundreds of pounds of snow, particularly after doing nothing physical for several months, can put a big strain on the heart. Pushing a heavy snow blower can do the same thing. Cold weather is another contributor because it can boost blood pressure, interrupt blood flow to part of the heart, and make blood more likely to form clots.
When a clot forms inside a coronary artery (a vessel that nourishes the heart), it can completely block blood flow to part of the heart. Cut off from their supply of life-sustaining oxygen and nutrients, heart muscle cells begin to shut down, and then die. This is what doctors call a myocardial infarction or acute coronary syndrome. The rest of us call it a heart attack.
The so-called classic signs of a heart attack are a squeezing pain in the chest, shortness of breath, pain that radiates up to the left shoulder and down the left arm, or a cold sweat. Other signs that are equally common include jaw pain, lower back pain, unexplained fatigue or nausea, and anxiety.
I figured I was tired because I had been shoveling for three hours, my left shoulder hurt because of the way I was tossing snow, and my back hurt from all the bending and lifting. I felt confident about my self-diagnosis, but would have changed it in an instant if something else started bugging me. (Click here to read “Chest pain: A heart attack or something else?” from the May 2010 Harvard Heart Letter.)
If you need to clear away snow, keep in mind that this activity can be more strenuous than exercising full throttle on a treadmill. That’s no problem if you are healthy and fit. But it can be dangerous if you aren’t. As I mentioned in the December 2010 issue of the Heart Letter, a study from the University of Virginia Medical Center suggests that anyone who has received an artery-opening stent in the preceding year or so might want to be especially careful about clearing snow.
Here are some tips for safe shoveling:
- Warm up your muscles before starting.
- Shovel many light loads instead of fewer heavy ones.
- Take frequent breaks.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Don’t feel that you need to clear every speck of snow from your property.
- Head indoors right away if your chest starts hurting, you feel lightheaded or short of breath, your heart starts racing, or some other physical change makes you nervous. If you think you are having a heart attack, call 911 or your local emergency number.
If you are out of shape or worried about your heart, hire a teenage neighbor. He or she could use the money, and probably the exercise.
Masi Polar Plus Ergonomic Sdjustable snow pusher shovel, no lifting safe on the back, made in Finland