Louisville NE 68037 & Plattsmouth NE 68048

How much energy do I need to shovel the snow?


December 12, 2019 – Have you ever noticed that while you are shoveling snow that you get tired? Have you ever thought about why? Is it the cold, the extra layers, the heavy load? How much energy does it really take to move snow?

Energy is measured in MET levels. A MET level is the amount of energy or calories you expend each minute while resting quietly. The more demanding the activity the higher the MET level.

How many METs do we experience with each activity level?

  • 1-3 METs: dressing, casual walking, desk work
  • 3-4 METs: showering, doing laundry, golfing with a cart
  • 4-5 METs: having sex, push mowing, climbing a set of stairs, walking during golf
  • 5-7 METs: SHOVELING SNOW, walking at 5 mph, occasionally lifting 50 pounds
  • 7 METs or more: running, playing basketball, occasionally lifting 100 pounds

If daily, you are only expending 3-4 METs and then on a heavier day doing 5 METs it can be a shock to system when you now must expend 6-7 METs to shovel that snow. Usually these increased expenditures are also done under a time crunch making it even tougher.       


As we prepare for the upcoming winter season, we must remember that it is important to have the snowblower and shovels ready, make sure to have hats and gloves that fit, and to condition our cardiovascular system for the rigors of moving snow. Start now by doing 30 minutes of brisk walking, stair climbing, or light weight training at the proper MET level 5 days per week. (Before starting any fitness program you should consult your physician or qualified healthcare professional.) If you need a place to increase your MET level tolerance or a support system to do it with, Witte 24/7 Wellness has both!

Your Witte Physical Therapy Team #homegrown #backtolife