Safe Snow Shoveling
By Intermountain Healthcare
Feb 4, 2020
Updated Oct 25, 2023
5 min read
It may look light and fluffy, but shoveling snow can be risky for many people. The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports each year there are about 11,500 people in the United States treated in emergency rooms for injuries related to snow shoveling.
There’s also a risk of death by shoveling. Nationwide, snow shoveling is responsible for 100 deaths each year.
The American Heart Association says snow shoveling can actually put people at risk of a heart attack. After being sedentary for several months, and then moving heavy snow, can put a strain on your heart.
The cold weather also can increase heart rate and blood pressure, even in healthy people.
Here's what to remember when you head outside to shovel your driveway and sidewalks this winter:
If you lift the snow, lift it properly. Here are some tips from The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons:
Just because you traded in your snow shovel for a snow blower, doesn't mean you're off the hook from playing it safe. Here are a few reminders:
And finally, if you feel pain at any time, stop shoveling or snow blowing.
As you're cleaning up after a snowstorm, remember the most important thing you can do is protect your health.