Think like a penguin to stay safe this winter

Groundhog’s day (February 2nd) is almost upon us.  I’m hoping for spring, but I’m counting on six more weeks of winter.  Unfortunately, slippery ice often comes with the cold temperatures of winter.  This ice makes for treacherous conditions, which for many leads to back injuries and broken bones (Smith & Nelson, 1998).  In order to walk safely on ice, the Centers for Disease Control recommends trading your Punxsutawney Phil impression for your best penguin impression.  The penguin waddle is regularly touted as a safer way to navigate across ice.  In order to do this, first, lower your center of gravity by bending slightly and pointing your feet outward.  Then instead of trying to fly across the ice, take small, shuffling steps and remain flat-footed.  If you need a little more balance, put your arms out to your side as well (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2016).  Hopefully the prophetic rodent will give us more sunshine, but in case he doesn’t: Stay safe out there!



Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2016, January 5). Prepared Penguins: Tips for a Safe and Healthy Winter. Retrieved from Public Health Matters Blogs: https://blogs.cdc.gov/publichealthmatters/2016/01/prepared-penguins-tips-for-a-safe-and-healthy-winter/

Smith, R., & Nelson, D. (1998, January). Fractures and Other Injuries from Falls After an Ice Storm. The American Journal of Emergency Medicine, 16(1), 52-55. doi:10.1016/S0735-6757(98)90065-1


  • Hannah Tuttle

    Very relevant post as we enter February and the weather starts to turn! This could be good advice as well for all of the travelers heading to Minneapolis for the Super Bowl who aren’t use to the “arctic” weather!

  • Casey

    This was such a cute post, Crystal! Lowering your center of gravity is something children do when learning to walk too. I will certainly try it out the next time it’s icy out.