Snow Shoveling Safety


  • If you are inactive and have a history of heart trouble, talk to your doctor before you take on the task of shoveling snow.
  • Avoid caffeine or nicotine before beginning. These are stimulants and can place extra stress on the heart.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Dress in several layers so you can remove a layer as needed.
  • Warm up your muscles before shoveling.
  • Use a shovel with a small blade.
  • Begin shoveling slowly, pace yourself, and take breaks as needed.
  • Push snow rather than lifting and throwing.
  • If you do lift snow protect your back from injury by lifting correctly:
    • Stand with your feet hip-width apart for balance.
    • Keep the shovel close to your body.
    • Bend from the knees (not the back) and tighten your stomach muscles as you lift the snow.
    • Avoid twisting movements.
  • Most importantly - listen to your body. Stop if you feel pain.