Not all of us are blessed with superior athleticism or balance. If you’re one those people, congrats. If not, chances are you’ve taken a fall here or there. Well apparently there are ways to make falling down less painful.
Along with the winter season comes slick ice, snow-covered streets and plenty of wet, slippery terrain that undoubtedly have some people falling to the ground more than usual. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 42,480 workplace injuries and illnesses involving ice, sleet or snow in 2014. Among the top states for those injuries were New York, Pennsylvania and Michigan.
Rushing to work, wearing ill-fitting shoes, not paying attention to where you’re going and more can contribute to serious injuries that could be avoided. With that in mind, what’s the best way to minimize the damage done by falling on ice?
NBC spoke with Femi Olagoke, a professional stunt performer, who shared his secrets and tips to not getting hurt when you take a tumble.
1. Bend Your Knees
About to fall? The best thing to do is get closer to the ground. Makes sense, right? Falling from six feet off the ground is going to be much more painful than, say, two feet off the ground. Bend your knees and you’re already helping to make your fall slightly less awful.
2. Don’t Use Your Arms
Many people’s immediate reaction to falling is to try and catch themselves using their arms. Don’t do this. While using your arms to break a fall might work sometimes, other times it may just end up injuring your arms. As an alternative, cross your arms over your chest or keep them away from your body so that they won’t be crushed by the gravity of your fall.
3. Fall On Your Side
If at all possible, reorient your body to where you fall on your side, rather than your front or back.
4. Tuck Your Head
The most important tip? Protect your noggin! Tuck your chin to your chest to prevent your head from hitting the ground. No one wants a concussion.
But the best advice of all is to be careful when walking around in icy weather. Keep an eye on the ground and step carefully. If there was ever a time to not walk and text, this is it!