Walking like a Penguin

Two penguins as if talking
Courtesy Hilary Backwell

Slippery Days

It seems every year here in the UK, we get caught out by icy weather, and this year is no exception.

Ice and snow, fog and floods, these all seriously impact on our way of life, delaying trains, blocking roads and generally making things difficult.

But delays and diversions are nothing compared to the personal pain and anguish inflicted by slips, trips and falls because of ice and snow.

Equally important, is how these impact on our overwhelmed National Health and Ambulance Services. The subsequent strain on social services when these injuries happen to vulnerable people is immense.

As a First Aid Trainer I know the consequences of fractures, so any way in which we can mitigate these injuries must be a good thing.

What to do

Learning from the experts is always a good idea. When the Norwegians suggest that we should adopt a different approach to walking on ice, it would seem to make sense. They in turn are looking to another level of expertise, the penguins.

Diagram of how penguins walk on ice
Courtesy of Visit Northern Norway https://www.facebook.com/NorthernNorway/photos http://www.northernnorway.com/

You’ll see from the accompanying diagram provided by a  Visit Northern Norway.

Simply modifying your posture and centre of gravity, walking on ice can be much safer and getting around in these conditions easier.

Broken bones, particularly hips, are massively expensive both financially and in lives. By copying the way our Antarctic friends walk, we may  help both ourselves and the hard-pressed health professionals.

penguins walking up ice berg slope
Courtesy Hilary Backwell

Although the current cold snap may not last, remember, “walking like penguin”, brings its own benefits in icy weather.

If the worst happens, it’s good to know that there are trained people to assist, until professional help arrives.

Learning to be a First Aider is a valuable social skill, not only for winter injuries. It provides you with the confidence to deal with more serious conditions, such as cardiac arrests, choking, burns and bleeding.

So, if you’d like to have that confidence, please book a first aid course to suit your needs, whether a fully regulated qualification or a more casual approach.

See our blog Help keep our ambulances free for real emergencies

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