The Best Ergonomic Snow Shovel for a Bad Back - Backyard Boss
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The Best Ergonomic Snow Shovel for a Bad Back

Anyone who has ever operated straight-handed shovels or standard shovelheads knows how much of a pain they can be. While staying true to the traditional elements of a shovel may work for a bodybuilder or teenager, it is probably best for the majority of us to give our backs a fighting chance by opting out of traditional shovels. However, an ergonomic snow shovel can assist in relieving stress, tension, and pressure from your back muscles as long as you know what features to look for.

When it comes to the fundamental components that make an ergonomic shovel better than a traditional straight-handed or standard version, it won’t take long to understand why ergonomic shovels work so well. We will show you the key points to why ergonomic shovels work better, as well as our top 5 favorite picks for you to choose from. That said, if you truly deal with serious back problems or frequent, heavy snowfall, shoveling may just be a bad idea altogether. Instead, consider investing in a good snowblower.

Backyard Boss Top 5 Ergonomic Snow Shovels for 2022

PRODUCT FEATURES
Snow Joe SHOVELUTION SJ-SHLV01 - The Best Ergonomic Snow Shovel for a Bad BackSnow Joe SHOVELUTION SJ-SHLV01
  • Length: 50 Inches
  • Weight: 3.7 Pounds
  • Warranty: 2 Years
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Radius Garden - The Best Ergonomic Snow Shovel for a Bad BackRadius Garden
  • Length: 52 Inches
  • Weight: 4.8 Pounds
  • Warranty: 2 Years Limited
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True Temper SnoBoss - The Best Ergonomic Snow Shovel for a Bad BackTrue Temper SnoBoss
  • Length: 57 Inches
  • Weight: 5.8 Pounds
  • Warranty: 90 Days
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Garant YP139EAKDU Yukon - The Best Ergonomic Snow Shovel for a Bad BackGarant YP139EAKDU Yukon
  • Length: 55 Inches
  • Weight: 1 Pound
  • Warranty: Unspecified
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ErgieShovel ERG-SNSH18  - The Best Ergonomic Snow Shovel for a Bad BackErgieShovel ERG-SNSH18
  • Length: 28 Inches
  • Weight: 4 Pounds
  • Warranty: Unspecified
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Why You Should Trust Us

Throughout the years we have heard time and time again how back pain hinders people from completing strenuous tasks, so it is no surprise that shoveling has been added to that list. Our expertise stems from the desire to help people who have back problems complete a menial task without aggravating their back pain.

We want to be advocates for proper posture and ease of motion just as much as we want to present the products that can help. In our opinion, Ergonomic shovels are simply another tool in the shed that can help you stay safe, and keep others safe, throughout every storm or dusting that comes your way.

The Lightest Ergonomic Snow Shovel

Snow Joe SHOVELUTION SJ-SHLV01
    This is a simple device that doesn’t bear any bells or whistles, so it can be easily managed and controlled without much hassle.

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Why We Like It: A regular snow shovel doesn’t include all the features that the Snow Joe SHOVELUTION SJ-SHLV01 18-inch snow shovel does. It may seem as though the D-shaped handle, use of aluminum, and the extra handle are all, well, extraneous. The handle, though, offers a more stable and comfortable grip. The aluminum in combination with polypropylene makes for a much lighter shovel, which helps reduce strain to your back. And the extra handle, well, that’s special and unique.

Using two grips is going to make it easier for you to load snow into the scoop, lift, and then fling it where you want it. The spring-loaded second grip reduces the exertion you put into lifting and throwing snow. There are a couple of issues with this shovel that may make it less than effective for you. If you’re taller, then this shovel may be too short for you. And if you use this shovel to break up lots of ice or hard-packed snow, the aluminum covering the blade of the head may pop off.

Who Should Buy It: We chose the Snow Joe SHOVELUTION SJ-SHLV01 18-inch snow shovel because it is the perfect item for people who encounter short or inconsistent bouts of snowfall, and are looking for an easy way to keep their sidewalks and pathways clear. It is a simple device that doesn’t bear any bells or whistles, so it can be easily managed and controlled without much hassle. If you are under 6ft tall and do not encounter a heavy snow season each year, then this is the ideal product for you. The secondary handle and lightweight attributes to this Ergonomic snow shovel is a must-have if snow is more recreational than problematic in your area.

The Best Ergonomic Snow Shovel for Shorter People

Radius Garden
    It is a versatile piece of equipment that will limit any bending or heavy lifting due to its amazing plow capacity.

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Why We Like It: One of the most overlooked concepts when it comes to shovels is the fact that they are not built for everybody, and sometimes, their mere size can be intimidating to some people. For our vertically challenged friends, the Radius Garden 9011118 is the answer to your snow shoveling prayers! With a 51.45 x 17.85 inches dimensions, it is an appropriate product for shorter people.

The secondary handle on the shovel is also elongated and enlarged for easy maneuverability and control. It has a hybrid plow design that makes it great in almost every level of snow and comes standard with a heavy-duty scraper at the base of the shovel blade. To avoid strenuous bending over or being overwhelmed by a monstrous shovel, the Radius Garden 9011118 is the ideal shovel for shorter individuals.

The Radius Garden is a good product to add to your existing winter products. It is a versatile piece of equipment that will limit any bending or heavy lifting due to its amazing plow capacity. For shorter people, especially, this shovel is exactly what you’ve been looking for if you have only used traditional shovels your entire life.

Who Should Buy It: Our vertically challenged friends are the ideal candidates to own this shovel. Not only because it is compact in its design but also because it gives incredible leverage to the operator. While it isn’t sturdy enough for harsh snowfall, it works extremely well under every other circumstance.

The Best Ergonomic Snow Shovel for Tall People

True Temper SnoBoss
    The wide shovel and durable materials make it a top notch piece of equipment for anyone who sees a decent amount of snow during the winter.

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Why We Like It: One of the best things about this True Temper SnoBoss 57-inch long ergonomic snow shovel is that you can use a variety of positions to push, shovel, chop, or even pull snow to clear an area. The 26-inch wide shovel head is extra wide, compared to most snow shovels. The design of the shovel makes it easy to use it as a snowplow, or you can pick up big loads of snow with it. It’s easier on your back than a regular shovel, partly because of the handle. You can use different positions to heave the snow out of the way.

The multiple grips farther down the shaft allow you to get more leverage for shoveling the snow in your driveway and on your walkways. You can even use your foot to get more oomph and clear even hard-packed snow. You can flip the shovel over and use the edge of the head to break up ice and packed snow or to clear stairs. The blade on the edge may loosen easily, but the manufacturer may send you extra blades. While shoveling, many said that the blade won’t clear all the way to the ground.

Who Should Buy It: We fell in love with the True Temper SnoBoss because it is both simple and purposeful at the same time. The wide shovel and durable materials make it a top-notch piece of equipment for anyone who sees a decent amount of snow during the winter. Even in the heaviest conditions, the SnoBoss shines with flying colors and is a true companion for the most brutal winters.

People should consider investing in a True Temper SnoBoss shovel if they are in a location that sees medium to heavy snowfall. While the SnoBoss can ideally work in any level of snow accumulation, its heavy-duty construction and wide metallic mouth is perfectly calibrated for the worst climates imaginable. Plus, its multi-handle capability is perfect for anyone with questionable back muscles.

The Best Allround Ergonomic Snow Shovel

Garant YP139EAKDU Yukon
    The simplicity of this shovel is perfect for the demographic with the most back problems, i.e. people above 50.

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Why We Like It: We like the Garant Yukon because it is built to do one specific job, and by golly, it does that job well! The simplicity of this shovel is perfect for the demographic with the most back problems, i.e. people above 50. The cranked design of the shovel’s handle will allow even the vertically challenged to operate it with ease.

Not everyone is looking for a giant scoop or an extra-wide manual snow plow, and if that describes you, check out the Garant YP139EAKDU Yukon 55-inch long ergonomic snow shovel. While this shovel only has a 14-inch wide shovelhead, it’s wide enough for you to easily clear a walkway in one pass. It’s a dual-purpose shovel that you can use as a plow, but it’s more shovel-like. The shaft is bent a little to make a gentle S shape.

The ergonomic design makes it easy on your back, and you can quickly clear snow with this snow shovel. For such a workhorse, this shovel is lightweight, thanks to aluminum and plastic materials. However, this also may make the shovel a bit flimsy. There’s no metal covering on the shovel head blade, so you can’t really scrape down to the ground with this tool. The absence of the covering makes it unsafe to use on easily damaged surfaces.

Who Should Buy It: Anyone can be an ideal person for owning a Garant Yukon shovel, but we would highly recommend it for the older generation. While teenagers and young adults can wield this shovel no problem, there are many other devices that the strength of the younger generation can handle with more efficiency. But as an overall great product, the Garant Yukon is a versatile shovel for any level of snow.

The Best Ergonomic Snow Shovel for Heavy Snowfalls

ErgieShovel ERG-SNSH18
    For anyone that deals with an immense amount of snow each winter season, or generally experiences snowfall year-round, this is the shovel that will save your sidewalk and your back.

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Why We Like It: For anyone who deals with an immense amount of snow each winter season or generally experiences snowfall year-round, the ErgieShovel ERG-SNSH18 is the shovel that will save your sidewalk and your back. The best part about the ErgieShovel is the high secondary handle that doesn’t ask for any bending or your spine whatsoever. Not only is it nice to your back, but it is also well constructed with a large 18-inch blade and a combination of Polypropylene and Steel Alloy that makes it lightweight and durable. The narrow mouth of the shovel will also remind the operator to not take on too much of a snow scoop, which your back will thank you for later.

Who Should Buy It: People should consider investing in a ErgieShovel ERG-SNSH18 shovel if they are in a location that sees heavy snowfall. The added handle can help you scoop up snow with less effort, thereby reducing the strain on your back.

How Shoveling Snow Can Cause Injuries

Image credits: Nataliya Vaitkevich via Pexels

A 17-year-long study by the American Journal of Emergency Medicine highlights the risks of winter shoveling. Each year, about 11,000 people present at hospitals across the US with injuries relating to shoveling. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 158,000 people were treated for a snow-removal injury in 2015, and a number of these incidents could have possibly been minimized by using an ergonomic snow shovel.

There are four common injuries that come with winter shoveling. While falling or getting hit with a shovel is the most common of all the injuries, the close runner-up is lower back injuries. Other injuries on the list include broken bones, cuts, and heart attacks. So, how can something so simple and quick lead to such damaging injuries?

You’re outside in the cold and likely standing on icy, slippery surfaces while shoveling. Do you know of anyone performing warm-up exercises before shoveling the heavy white stuff? Probably not. And that’s how some people get injured shoveling and end up with overworked muscles. You can easily pull a muscle, hurt a tendon or ligament, or damage some other soft tissue while shoveling snow. Overexerting yourself in cold weather is easier than you think.

If you are an older individual, the risk of hurting yourself while shoveling drastically increases, so finding the best snow shovels for seniors may be only one of the few ways to combat overexertion. Even if you regularly worked out during the summer and fall months, there’s a good chance you didn’t get to the gym once the cold set in. Clearing snowfall takes a lot of work, and you may not realize just how much until it’s too late. So it is in your best interest as well to at least go out and find a two-handled snow shovel that can help you through those snow-ridden winter days.

The Best Ergonomic Snow Shovel for a Bad Back value image 2
Image credits: Karolina Grabowska via Pexels

In general, when looking for the best snow shovels for seniors or a two-handled snow shovel, always remind yourself that your body is more important than the sidewalk you’ll be shoveling. In addition to that, bear in mind the conditions you will be facing when you are outside shoveling the snow. An Ergonomic snow shovel is a great tool for you to use, but a sharp understanding of the necessary precautions is also very valuable. Not only is it cold outside, which restricts your blood vessels and reduces blood flow to vital organs, you are also diving right into the work without warming up your muscles.

What’s more, you’re likely hunched over while scraping the shovel along the ground, and without a double handle snow shovel, you are essentially setting yourself up for failure the moment you sling that stuff over your shoulder or to the side of a path. Even just losing your balance a little can cause a stretched muscle in your back to suddenly contract and lead to a strained muscle. There are plenty of things you can do to protect your back and other muscles while shoveling snow.

Other than treating snow shoveling as an exercise, stretch before you get going. The next best thing you can do is to buy an ergonomic snow shovel that reduces that strain.

6 Ways You Can Protect Your Back While Shoveling

The Best Ergonomic Snow Shovel for a Bad Back value image 3
Image credits: Karolina Grabowska via Pexels

Naturally, you want to prevent injury while shoveling snow, but how? Outside of purchasing the perfect ergonomic snow shovel, here are a few things you can do to help protect yourself so you don’t end up in the ER with a bad back.

1. Stay Warm

Bundle up before you head out into the cold weather. The cold can work against your attempts to stay safe. You don’t want to restrict your movement, of course, but layer up, so you stay warm.

2. Keep Clearing

If you’re expecting a big snowfall, then get outside early on with your ergonomic snow shovel and start clearing the material before it piles up. It’s much easier to clear a few inches at a time and keep clearing it every few hours, rather than letting the material get hard-packed. It may seem a bit repetitive, but your back will definitely thank you for taking the smart (and much less painful) approach.

3. Stay Active

Keep up an active lifestyle, which keeps you in shape and healthy. You should also do a little light exercise before shoveling snow. A few stretches and a 10-minute warm-up can do wonders to keep your blood pumping, keep you warm, and keep you limber. All those things can contribute to your safety while shoveling.

4. Go Slowly

Don’t try to power through winter shoveling, especially if you don’t have a two-handled snow shovel. If you’re impatient and try to get through the stuff as quickly as you can, you’re more likely to injure yourself. Take your time and shovel the snowfall methodically and carefully. You know what they say, and they are right: you’re better safe than sorry.

5. Use the Right Shovel

Find an ergonomic snow shovel that is the right height and the right weight for you. If you are an older individual, remember there are plenty of options to find the best snow shovel for seniors on the internet. Too heavy a shovel can potentially cause more strain on your muscles, regardless of age. So it’s also a good idea to find an ergonomic snow shovel that has a slight bend, a wide head, and a comfortable handle. It will help you stand straight while shoveling and give you better leverage as well.

And always use the right tool for the job. If you’re heading out into the backcountry for winter camping or need to attack a mountain of hard-packed snow on your property, grab an avalanche snow shovel, rather than your regular model.

6. Check Your Technique

Avoid twisting and turning at the waist while moving fallen material. The possibility of injury is much greater when you make moves like this. You can push snow, which is a bit easier on your body, but if you must lift the snow, do so with your legs, not your back.

How We Picked

In order to showcase and review nothing but the best snow shovels for bad backs, we performed some intense in-field recon, i.e. browsing the world-wide-web for ergonomic snow shovels. We looked extra close at each shovel’s design, weight, blade design, the stability of the handle, and handle shape in general, plus a whole lot more. Once we had slimmed down the pickings, we pulled out our trusty magnifying glass – our metaphorical magnifying glass, of course – and had an even more personal look.

The snow shovels we chose for reviews met all the major requirements for making shoveling snow easier and less “back-breaking.” Each of our picks features an ergonomic build with a strong and easy-to-use handle as well as a wide enough blade to move decent amounts of snow. At the very least they are all equally better for your back than the standard snow shovels you find at the check-out in Walmart and other department stores each winter. Further, one of them is quite possibly the best snow shovel for you (and your back).

Our Pick of the Best Ergonomic Snow Shovel in 2022

Picking a snow shovel that is comfortable to use and easy on your back is a personal choice. We all have different issues and preferences with tools. You may prefer a shovel with a straight shaft for moving snow, or you may want a wide-mouthed shovelhead to manually plow the snow. Overall, though, there’s one shovel that we rate better than the rest: the Snow Joe SHOVELUTION SJ-SHLV01.

The two handles make it easy for you to grip with both hands, shovel snow, and then lift and toss the snow to where you want it to live. The spring-loaded second handle is especially helpful in easing strain. When it comes to snow shovels, this thing has definitely evolved beyond the typical straight shaft, small shovel headed tools of yesteryear.

Not feeling any of these options? Have a look at our reviews on the best snow shovels overall for some more great options.

Good luck picking out the best snow shovel for you, and stay safe out there this winter!

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