Media Watch: The Dangers of Shoveling Snow

CBS-3’s Stephanie Stahl interviews Dr. Eric Stander at Hahnemann. (Credit: CBS-3)

The first big winter storm of the year has arrived in Philadelphia, meaning it’s time to grab your shovel.

Unfortunately, scooping up snow can be more than a nuisance — it often has tragic consequences. Shoveling sends thousands of people to the hospital and about 100 die each year in the United States, according to a recent report from researchers at the U.S. Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Eric Stander, MD, an emergency medicine physician at Hahnemann University Hospital and an assistant professor at Drexel University College of Medicine, talked to CBS-3’s Stephanie Stahl this week about the dangers of shoveling.

Heavy, wet snow is potentially the most dangerous kind to shovel, and the most serious threat is the increased risk for heart attacks, Stander said in the interview.

“People don’t realize how much weight it is, the extra exertion and cold weather all add to the physiology stress,” he said.

Muscle strains are another problem — especially in the back — so it’s best to let the knees do the bending, while the back stays straight, he added.

Watch the full interview at CBS Philly.

For media inquiries, contact Lauren Ingeno at or 215.895.2614.

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