It appears investing in a snow shovel with a curved shaft can help save your back.

A University of Calgary researcher compared the straight shaft shovel to one that’s bent and more high-tech looking and found the bent shaft made a big difference on the stress placed on the shovel-operator’s back.

In fact, Ryan Lewinson says the bent shovel can reduce a mechanical load by up to 16 per cent.

However, he says further research is required to see if a straight shovel is better for other aspects of shoveling snow beyond lifting it.