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Pennsylvania Department of Health Offers Tips to Stay Healthy While Tackling Snow Removal

Saturday, February 6, 2010 General News J E 4
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HARRISBURG, Pa., Feb. 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With much of Pennsylvania expecting significant snowfall, the Department of Health today reminded residents to take steps to protect their health when shoveling deep snow.

"For people who do not exercise regularly, shoveling large amounts of snow can overtax your heart or cause serious sprains and strains," said Secretary of Health Everette James. "If you are unaccustomed to heavy lifting, be sure to warm up first, pace yourself, and take regular breaks."

The department offered the following tips to make shoveling safer:

  • Warm up your muscles with 10 minutes of light exercise and stretching.
  • Dress appropriately.
  • Consider shoveling in shifts instead of all at once.
  • Take breaks and drink water to prevent dehydration.
  • Use a shovel that is correctly sized for your body.
  • When possible, push snow instead of lifting it. If you must lift, bend your legs and not your back.
  • Avoid twisting motions that can stress your back.
  • If you experience chest pain, shortness of breath or other symptoms of a heart attack, seek immediate medical care or call 911.

If using a snowblower, be sure to read and follow all safety instructions and stay aware of others who may be nearby.

For more information about the Department of Health, visit www.health.state.pa.us.

Media contact: Stacy Kriedeman, 717-787-1783

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Health

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