Shoveling Snow and Heart Attacks

According to Cleveland Clinic approximately 11,000 people go to hospital every year after shoveling snow.

Its clear that Shoveling snow can cause be a significant concern for health and safety issues but the question is why. Snow shoveling causes multiple health problems. If one is older and has a history of heart conditions then he could suffer a heart attack or chest pains. And whether one is young or old, they could also suffer muscular, skeletal or joint related injuries.

Physical injuries occur by people who feel that they could “man” the snow and are determined to shovel. They are most likely not fit enough to the task and most certainly do not warm up and do proper warm-up exercises and stretching before shoveling snow. If you were to decide to go for a long and hard jog in the cold it would be foolish to do so without working your way up to a long run and stretching beforehand. Two factors go hand in hand. One not having proper warm-up stretches before shoveling could led to muscular and joint problems and Two not prepared for the exertion could lead to heart problems. According to a study published in 1995, “Heavy snow shoveling elicits myocardial and aerobic demands that rival maximal treadmill and arm-ergometer testing” This means that snow shoveling could be just as strenuous on the body as running hard on a treadmill. The heavy lifting of snow and sudden release when the snow is cast aside is a major cause in shoveling related injuries or chest pains. Any form of sudden exertion and sudden release is bad for the bodt.

Ways to Avoid Chest Pains

Before you even think about tackling the snow you need to verify that you are in good medical condition. If you are older and / or have a history of heart related problems then you should seek the advice of a doctor before shoveling or just read this article and just get a darn snowblower so you dont die for such an unworthy cause. You dont need to be “the man”. Its just not worth it. Be smart. Get a snowblower and let it do the work for you. Or better yet hire someone to do the work for you. There are plenty of guys who do this for a living. If you want to be manly outdoors, then consider getting a push reel mower for mowing your lawn in the summer. Much better for your health and the environment than a gas mower.

Ways to Avoid Musculoskeletal Injuries

Be smart. The same way you wouldnt go for a jog out in the cold without a proper warmup and stretch you shouldnt go out to shovel the snow without doing the same. But its important to know that there is no health benefit to snow shoveling. By lifting a heavy load of snow and tossing it your are at risk for serious back injury no matter what your age. Use common sense. Plan ahead knowing the area you want to tackle. Go at it little by little taking out small amounts of snow at a time or just get a snowblower or hire someone to do the work.

If you are interested in learning more about Heart Attacks, Cardiac Arrest and CPR or scheduling a course for your organization, please call us at 647-951-1441, send us an email at: courses@corporatecpr.ca or fill out the below form

Contact Form: