How Many Calories Does Shoveling Burn 2024? Surprising Facts

Clearing snow can be more than just a chore; it’s a winter workout! Discover “How Many Calories Does Shoveling Burn?” and the surprising fitness benefits hidden in this snowy task.

How Many Calories Does Shoveling Burn?

  • Weight and MET Value: MET stands for Metabolic Equivalent of Task, a standard measurement of energy cost for physical activity. Generally, heavier weight equals more calories burned. A 200-pound person might burn between 477 and 745 calories per hour while digging.

Intensity Matters:

  • Moderate effort: Less intense shoveling could have a 150-pound individual burning roughly 358 calories per hour.
  • Vigorous effort: Upping the ante could skyrocket calorie burning to 716 calories per hour for a 200-pound person.

Age and Sex:
Both age and sex can influence calorie expenditure—generally, younger individuals and males might see higher calorie burn due to larger muscle mass.

Calculating Your Burn:
Many online calculators can help you gauge the energy you expend. Plug in your details like weight, age, sex, and shoveling time, and voilà—an estimate of your workout’s impact!

Remember, shoveling snow or digging isn’t just about clearing space or prepping the garden. It’s a rigorous exercise that pushes your muscles, especially those involved in lifting, giving your whole body a solid workout. Follow guidelines, like those from the American College of Sports Medicine, to maximize both the safety and efficiency of your shovel sessions.

Individual differences, including height and overall fitness level, can affect energy expenditure. So, grab that shovel and take advantage of this calorie-torching activity hiding in plain sight!

Duration and Effort Levels

A figure shoveling snow with a determined expression, sweat glistening, as the effort burns calories

When you’re shoveling snow, both the time you spend and how hard you work significantly impact the calories you burn. Grasping the relationship between different durations and intensities can help you maximize your workout in the winter weather!

Understanding Time Intervals and Energy Expenditure

For light shoveling:

  • 30 minutes: Burns approximately 180-216 calories
  • 1 hour: Approximately 360-432 calories

For moderate effort:

  • 30 minutes: Around 200-250 calories
  • 1 hour: 400-500 calories

For strenuous shoveling:

  • 30 minutes: Can exceed 250 calories
  • 1 hour: Possibly over 500 calories

Remember, these figures can vary based on your body weight and the actual intensity of your effort.

Impact of Breaks on Caloric Output

Mixing short breaks into your shoveling routine can influence your overall caloric burn. For instance, if you take a 5-minute rest after every 15 minutes of shoveling, you’ll lower the total calories burned compared to shoveling continuously for an hour. Strategically placed breaks, however:

  • Allow muscle recovery
  • Reduce the risk of overexertion

The key is to find a balance that keeps you energized without drastically cutting into your energy expenditure.

Comparative Caloric Burn of Winter Activities

Let’s compare shoveling snow to other winter delights. You’ll see that shoveling can be just as effective as some favorite winter sports, all while clearing your driveway!

  • Snow Shoveling for 1 hour: 400-500 calories (moderate effort)
  • Snow Blower: Less than shoveling, as it’s machine-assisted
  • Ice Skating: 300-650 calories per hour
  • Sledding: 400-600 calories per hour
  • Skiing/Snowboarding: 300-600 calories per hour
  • Snowshoeing: 400-1,000 calories per hour


Is shovelling snow a good workout?

Shoveling snow is a good workout; it’s a high-intensity activity that engages your arms, legs, and core, providing cardiovascular and strength benefits.

How many calories does 30 minutes of shoveling burn?

A person weighing around 155 pounds can burn approximately 216 calories in 30 minutes of shoveling snow.

How many calories are burned shoveling snow for 1 hour?

Shoveling snow for 1 hour can burn around 400 to 600 calories, depending on your weight and the intensity of the effort.

How many calories does shoveling dirt burn?

Shoveling dirt can also be a vigorous activity, and you might burn a similar amount of calories as shoveling snow, but it will vary based on the weight of the dirt and your shoveling pace.

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