7 SCIENCE-APPROVED TIPS FOR WALKING ACROSS ICE
: Jennifer Lea Reynolds ~ www.mentalfloss.com : February 16, 2018
Unless you live in a warm climate year-round where the only ice you experience involves cubes that tumble from your refrigerator door, the issue of slipping on the slick surface presents a serious concern. After all, news segments talk of treacherous conditions where people unable to gain traction slide themselves into oblivion just crossing the street. On the work front, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 2014, ice, snow, or sleet caused more than 42,000 injuries and illnesses.
The very act of walking is a balancing act we take for granted. "Walking is like falling and catching yourself over and over," says Kayla Lewis, Ph.D., an assistant professor of physics at New Jersey's Monmouth University. "You lean forward and fall forward, catching yourself with your leading leg to prepare for the next step. But it's the friction between the ground and your shoes that enables you to save yourself this way; it prevents your front shoe from sliding forward and your back shoe from sliding backward."
All of this begs the question: What's the best way to walk on ice to minimize the risk of falling? To safely sashay over ice, follow the experts' advice below. Don't let their words of wisdom, you know, slip away from you.
1. MOVE SLOWLY AND STEADILY
Clearly, instinct and common sense kicks in the moment you approach the slick surface, telling us it's virtually impossible (and not really wise) to sprint across an ice-covered driveway. Slow and easy wins the proverbial race, right?
Yes. According to Philip E. Martin, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Kinesiology at Iowa State University, minimizing forward and backward force is indeed essential when walking on ice. "What's key is trying to keep force applied to the ground more vertically so there's less force forward and backward—because that's the part that requires friction," he tells Mental Floss.
2. TAKE SHORTER STEPS
What does reducing forward-and-backward force mean practically? Taking shorter steps. When we do so, the forces applied against the ground in forward and backwards directions are reduced. Therefore, Martin says, we're not pushing as hard and are "adapting our gait to work with the reduced friction that's available to us."
3. AVOID MELTING ICE
Mark Fahnestock, a glaciologist and research professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, has been studying glaciers and ice sheets for the last couple of decades, and during that time has experienced conditions at -40°F in Alaska. He says that how slippery ice becomes can vary by temperature--so being aware of temperatures can help you figure out how easy or challenging it may be to cross ice. "It's easier to walk on ice at 0°F or -20°F," he tells Mental Floss. "Ice is much slipperier when it's really melting."
Chalk that up to a film of molecules on the surface that behaves like water, he says, which "becomes more pronounced" in warmer temperatures. However, this isn't to say you won't ever slip on ice the colder the temperature gets; he emphasizes, "It's not that it's not slippery, it's just that it's not as slippery as when it's warmer."
4. GO AROUND SLOPES AND STAIRS WHEN YOU CAN
You should also be mindful of the surface you're about to set foot on. A flat surface is one thing, but Fahnestock says that "if it's slanted where your foot meets a driveway, for example, it's not holding your weight—rather, it's your weight that's causing your foot to move."
"Gravity is going to do its thing whether you like it or not," Martin says, especially if there's an icy slope that's in a significantly downhill direction. Unfortunately, in this circumstance, you probably won't be able to adapt your gait to prevent slipping, so it's likely it'll be a score of Ice 1, Human 0. Stairs can make navigating ice even more treacherous, but we know it's not always possible to avoid them. According to helpful hints for walking on ice from Iowa State University, when dealing with icy steps, be sure to use handrails, keeping your hands out of your pockets, and continue to move slowly.
5. KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR CHANGING SURFACES
Then there are circumstances where the surface characteristics can change without us realizing it. But Martin says not to fret if you're walking on a straight, dry surface and suddenly encounter an icy patch you weren't expecting. Maximum friction force is reduced when you encounter this abrupt change, causing you to quickly alter your gait. Sure, you may slip a little since it initially throws you off guard, but "humans are pretty adaptable and recognize challenges quickly," Martin says. We pay closer attention to surface characteristics than we may consciously realize, and we adjust our stride patterns automatically.
6. WEAR THE RIGHT SHOES
And don't forget the benefits of appropriate footwear. Martin encourages people to consider a shoe's material properties, noting that a rigid leather sole is far from ideal as it offers a significantly weaker grip compared to a rubber sole. Of course, traction-improving treads, cleats, or spikes can help too. Scientists are studying how traction varies among consumer boots. A team of researchers at iDAPT, the research arm of the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute—University Health Network, has tested and rated the slip resistance of nearly 100 boots and spikes in their WinterLab, where they study slips and falls on a floor composed entirely of ice. Testers secured into safety harnesses walk back and forth across the ice as the researchers slowly increase the angle of the floor until the tester slips. The angle at which they slip is called the "maximum achievable angle": The higher the angle, the better the slip resistance.
More than 80 percent of the boots they've tested failed to score high enough on the MAA to earn a single "snowflake" on iDAPT's three-snowflake scale, including those from popular brands like Timberland, Sorel, and Terra. The top ranked, with three snowflakes, are all Stabil spikes, which attach to your regular shoes or boot.
7. WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS, WADDLE
Consider taking an ice-walking cue from those waddling tuxedo-ed ice pros: Walk like a penguin. Fahnestock says shuffling helps keep your weight in a straight-down stance, allowing your feet to carry your weight carefully and minimize slipping.
An accredited massage therapist will never tell you that he or she can "cure" what ails you. We'll offer suggestions, advice, our thoughts and above all, unlimited support as we provide you with relief. We embrace working with other specialists (physicians, physiotherapists, osteopaths etc) in order to give you the best healing experience you can possibly receive.
Some of us also branch out onto paths that help restore energy balance in the body. Reiki is one such path, and when offered in conjunction with massage can speed up the healing process and help release metabolic waste and toxins more quickly. Read on to find out more about this practice:
Is our concept of yoga and meditation in the western world tainted? If you are one among us who thinks that you cannot meditate "effectively", watch on.
#MEDITATION #SPIRITUAL #MINDFULNESS
This video is well worth the watch. Can we control our destiny? Yes, we can. Find the secret to YOUR destiny by being aware of your thoughts and concentrating on the things for which you wish that DO happen, instead of those things that do not. Watch this awesome video to find out more (just click on the picture):
#DESTINY #SPIRITUAL #CONTROLYOURLIFE #MINDFULNESS
Adults Demonstrate Modified Immune Response After Receiving Massage, Cedars-Sinai Researchers Show
Published by the American Massage Therapy Association
Los Angeles - Sept. 7, 2010
Researchers in Cedars-Sinai’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences have reported people who undergo massage experience measurable changes in their body’s immune and endocrine response.
Although there have been previous, smaller studies about the health benefits of massage, the Cedars-Sinai study is widely believed to be the first systematic study of a larger group of healthy adults.
The study is published online at http://www.liebertonline.com/loi/acm. It also will be published in the October printed edition of the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.
“Massage is popular in America, with almost 9 percent of adults receiving at least one massage within the past year,” said Mark Rapaport, MD, chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences. “People often seek out massage as part of a healthy lifestyle but there hasn’t been much physiological proof of the body’s heightened immune response following massage until now.”
In the study, 29 subjects received 45 minutes of Swedish massage and 24 received 45 minutes of light touch massage. Each participant underwent informed consent, a physical and mental evaluation and was deemed to be physically healthy and free of any mental disorder. Massage therapists were trained in how to deliver both Swedish and light touch using specific and identical protocols.
Prior to the massage, study participants were fitted with intravenous catheters in order to take blood samples during the study session. Then participants were asked to rest quietly for 30 minutes. Following the rest period, blood samples were collected from each person five minutes and one minute before the massage began. At the end of the 45-minute massage session, blood samples were collected at one, five, 10, 15, 30, and 60 minutes after the massage.
“This research indicates that massage doesn’t only feel good, it also may be good for you,” said Rapaport, the principal investigator of the study and the Polier Family Chair in Schizophrenia and Related Disorders. “More research is ahead of us but it appears that a single massage may deliver a measurable benefit.”
Among the study’s results:
There are many good reasons why everybody should seek the services of a qualified massage therapist. When injured, massage can help speed the healing process. It can also help to prevent the injury in the first place by keeping your muscles supple. Massage therapy should never be sought in place of medical intervention. But as a combined service? There is much value to be explored. Below are just a few good reasons why.