Experts tell how to walk on ice to avoid injuries

Jan. 7, 2014 at 12:24 PM   |   Comments

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NEW YORK, Jan. 7 (UPI) -- With much of the U.S. frozen by a severe cold snap, many must walk on slippery ice and experts suggest walking in a shuffle motion to maintain balance.

Orthopaedic surgeons at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai suggest those walking on ice "shuffle" or move feet slightly apart to provide better balance than a normal stride. Bending the knees slightly when walking on icy surfaces also might help, they said.

"When walking on an incline that is covered in ice, turn sideways and avoid the 'normal' walking motion of crossing one foot over the other," the orthopaedic surgeons said in a statement. "It is safer to take a sidestep and bring your other foot along to meet your lead foot. Walking in this unusual method while bending your knees allows for better balance."

When walking on ice, falls might occur, so the surgeons recommend protecting the dominant arm -- the arm used to write with and do most tasks with.

"Falls occur quickly and it is common to use your arms to break your fall, leading to arm fractures and tears. To avoid injury to your dominant arm, hold an object or a bag in your dominant hand, leaving only the other arm to break your fall," the orthopaedic surgeons said.

"Be aware of your surroundings to avoid visible ice. Take care when exiting cars, buses and trains or when walking up and down outdoor stairs. Keep your eyes open for patches of ice."

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