Are You Too Old To Shovel Snow?

We might be looking at some snow Thursday and Friday, but not everyone should be out there with a shovel.

A study from 2010 estimated that nearly 200,000 people were treated in emergency rooms for snow-shoveling-related incidents between 1990 and 2006, an average of about 11,500 people per year. About 55 percent were soft-tissue injuries, while about 34 percent were lower-back injuries, but experts say shoveling snow can also be a trigger for heart attacks.

Dr. Barry Franklin says he cautions anyone over age 45 from partaking in the winter chore due to the “perfect storm” of factors that seem to cause heart attacks. Dr. Luke Laffin, a cardiologist at Cleveland Clinic, says he encourages people to start finding other ways to remove snow once they turn 55. The cold temperatures plus intense exercise of shoveling is no joke, and for middle-aged adults who don’t get a lot of exercise, Franklin and Laffin agree it’s best to leave the shoveling for someone else.