Scots urged to 'walk like a penguin' as hospitals struggle to cope with falls on ice
Scots have been told to “walk like a penguin” as the recent cold snap has left hospitals and the Scottish Ambulance Service struggling to cope with the influx of patients suffering from ice-induced falls.
Health Boards across the country reported being even more busy than usual after a New Year Bank Holiday on Monday.
The Scottish Ambulance Service said it was seeing higher demand than usual, while NHS 24 reported a record number of calls.
Several doctors and health chiefs urged people not to go outside if at all possible.
In cases where venturing out cannot be avoided, the NHS asked people to “walk like a penguin” to reduce the risk of falls.
"When the weather is icy, we see a sharp increase in the number of people attending the Emergency Departments with slip and trip injuries such as broken bones,” reads a campaign from NHS Tayside to “walk like a penguin”.
“We would advise people who do need to venture out when the weather is wintry to dress warmly, wear sensible shoes with a good grip and to take care when walking on icy surfaces.“If you want to stay safe whilst walking on icy paths, the advice is to walk like Smarty the penguin – follow our feathered friends and avoid a fall this winter.”
The advice to walk like a penguin is to bend the knees, point feet slightly outwards, and extend arms to each side.
"Walk flat footed, taking short slow steps,” the campaign advises.
"Keep your centre of gravity over your feet.”
A poster shared on social media by Scottish health chiefs also advised people to walk like a penguin.
"Normally, when we walk, our legs’ ability to support our weight is split mid-stride,” it advises.
"Walking this way on ice forces each leg to support the weight of the body at an angle that is not perpendicular to the ice, resulting in a nasty fall.
"To walk on ice, keep your centre of gravity over your front leg.
"One animal that has figured this out is a penguin.
"Think of yourself as a penguin and you’ll be all right.”
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