Canadians are taking up their most challenging winter chore — shoveling snow. It’s backbreaking work and we all know the agony of finishing the driveway only to have the plow come and fill it in again.

The standard snow shovel gets the job done, but leaves aches and pains in its wake. Are there other options available?

Ergonomic shovels do all the work of the regular snow shovel, but the curved handle takes the pain out of your back. You can keep your back straight and still shovel the walk. It’s a clever way to teach an old dog new tricks.

Really large snow scoops are lightweight and their plowing action can move mountains of snow at a time without having to actually lift that heavy load. You can simply push it over to the side and tilt the shovel over to dump the snow.  It’s not suitable for small, tidy jobs, but it will make short work of large driveways.

A new product called a Snowovel (www.wovel.com) combines a standard snow shovel with a giant wheel. This is ergonomics plus with the wheel doing the work of your aching back. The wheel allows you to “flip” the snow away without lifting it with all the benefits of a pulley system.

Electric snow shovels are another option. Priced at just over $100, these shovels feature a similar rotating piece to grind up clumps and feed them through the chute. This might be a good compromise between a standard shovel and a snow blower, but it might not have the power to deal with the really heavy wet stuff in the spring or that terrible mess from the snowplow at the end of the driveway.

Whichever option you choose, stretch and take breaks. And remember, the best part is when it’s over!