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Mount Nittany Health Encourages Everyone to ‘Walk like a Penguin’ this Winter

4 min read

Mount Nittany Health employees want you to Walk like a Penguin this winter. The cold winter months can be bleak and unrelenting. While a landscape coated in a fresh blanket of snow can be very beautiful, it can also be extremely dangerous, and even deadly. Approximately 1 million Americans are injured each year as a result of falling on ice and snow, and according to the CDC, around 17,000 of these falls result in fatalities.

When you’re going to be outside, there are several steps that you can take to avoid sliding or falling during the slippery winter months:

  • Pay attention and be aware of the surfaces around you and ahead of you.
  • Choose winter shoes with rubber soles to maintain traction, or winterize your shoes and boots with removable crampons.
  • Plan ahead, avoid rushing, and give yourself plenty of time to get where you are going.
  • Wear gloves to keep your hands warm and out of your pockets to provide better stability.
  • Don’t get distracted by trying to text or talk on a cell phone while walking in dangerous, icy conditions.
  • Be sure to keep your driveways and walkways cleared, shoveled and treated with ice melt or kitty litter.

An additional way to stay safe this winter when you have to trek out into the snow or ice involves some waddling. Yes, you read that right. You’re encouraged to walk or waddle like a penguin, and share these tips widely! To strut your penguin stuff, follow these simple steps:

  • Bend your knees slightly and point your feet slightly outward (like a penguin)Walk flat-footed
  • Keep your center of gravity over your feet as much as possible
  • Shuffle your feet and take short steps
  • Keep your arms at your sides and not in your pockets
  • Concentrate on keeping your balance
  • Move slowly and give yourself extra time

Waddling like a penguin may look silly, but it is a better alternative to falling and hurting yourself on the ice. This winter, we encourage you to take the pledge and walk like a penguin! Thank you for staying safe with us this winter!

The Walk like a Penguin Pledge
During the winter months, when there’s lots of snow and ice
I’ll listen to the penguin and heed its advice
I’ll bend my knees slightly
And point my feet out
I’ll do the penguin waddle, so there isn’t any doubt
I’ll focus on my balance
And give myself extra time
I’ll minimize my risk of slipping, by repeating this silly rhyme
I’ll keep my hands out of my pockets
And my arms by my side
I’m committed to the penguin pledge, by it I will abide

Special thanks to the Mount Nittany Health team members for demonstrating the penguin walk: Jamie Baxter, RN, Employee Health Services; Megan Sunderland, Employee Health Services; Jan McKenna, RN, Employee Health Services; Marissa Ward, RN, Employee Health Services; Eva Aveni, RN, Medical-Surgical-Orthopedics (MSO); Gail Wilson, RN, Medical-Surgical-Orthopedics (MSO); Ashley Yohn, Mount Nittany Physician Group, Green Tech; Jenna Love, CRNP, Mount Nittany Physician Group, Green Tech; Kristen Pandolph, Mount Nittany Physician Group, Green Tech; Tania Zuniga, MD, Mount Nittany Physician Group, Green Tech; Philip Miller, DO, Mount Nittany Physician Group, Green Tech; Jenn Traxler, RN, Emergency Department; Nicki Olson, RN, Emergency Department; Katy Nielson, RN, Emergency Department; Wendy Felice, Physical Therapist, Mount Nittany Physician Group, Fit for Play; Rebecca Seligson, Mount Nittany Physician Group, Fit for Play; Annika Mossel, Mount Nittany Physician Group, Fit for Play; Craig Turner, Practice Manager, Mount Nittany Physician Group, Fit for Play; Lindsay Reiter, RN, Professional and Organizational Development; and Diane Elliott, RN, Professional and Organizational Development