View Full Version : snow shovels and shoveling

01-23-2001, 07:05 AM
Greetings everyone,

I was asked by our University Public Relations dept. if there are
recommendations on the desired design of a snow shovel (the bent shaft
shovel was one mentioned) or whether there are specific ways to avoid back
problems while shoveling snow. I made a suggestion that snow pushers (see
below) should reduce back load by avoiding lifting, but didn't have any
research to back it up. A search of electronic databases produced several
articles regarding cardiac demand and events related to snow shoveling, but
the only ones I could find that remotely addressed their questions are
listed below. Does anyone have any suggestions?

As usual I will post a summary of responses. Thank you.


Energy expenditure and clearing snow: a comparison of shovel and snow pusher.
Author: Smolander J, and others Source: Ergonomics (ERGONOMICS) 1995 Apr;
38 (4): 749-53

Snowy roofs--a potential hazard.
Author: Eriksson A, and others Source: Scand J Soc Med (SCANDINAVIAN
JOURNAL OF SOCIAL MEDICINE) 1988; 16 (3): 179-82

Loads on spinal tissues during simultaneous lifting and ventilatory challenge.
Author: McGill SM, and others Source: Ergonomics (ERGONOMICS) 1995 Sep; 38
(9): 1772-92

Randall Jensen, Ph.D, FACSM
Dept. Health Physical Education and Recreation
Northern Michigan University
Marquette, MI 49855

Phone: 906-227-1184
FAX: 906-227-2181

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