Health chiefs have issued some unusual advice to help East Renfrewshire residents avoid slips and trips on icy urging them to "walk like a penguin."

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) recommends adopting the waddle stance of the Antarctic bird in the cold weather as it helps people keep stable and minimise the risk of losing their balance.

According to the health board, the best way to keep safe on the ice is to mimic a penguin walk by bending slightly, keeping your knees loose and pointing your feet out slightly.

It is also recommended that residents extend their arms at their sides while walking flat-footed, taking short steps and keeping their centre of gravity over their feet.

Dr Emilia Crighton, director for public health at NHSGGC, said: "At this time of year – and especially in icy spells like this – slips, trips and falls are the most common accidents that result in injury. While most result in bumps and bruises, thousands of people are admitted to hospitals each year with related injuries.

"While it might seem silly to walk or waddle like a penguin, if you’re unlucky the alternative may be spending Christmas in hospital or with an injury. Remember, when it comes to getting around on ice, penguins know best, so if you’re out and about in the next few days, adopting the penguin stance is a really effective way to move without falling.

"During this time we should also make sure we're supporting our elderly family members and neighbours by making journeys on their behalf to avoid them having to go out in icy conditions."

NHSGGC is also advising residents not to attend A&Es, which face unprecedented pressure this winter, unless their injury is very urgent or life-threatening.

The health board is urging people to instead phone 111 for advice and to access a Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) which is able to assess, treat and discharge patients, and usually has lower waiting times.

For information on how to access the appropriate care for your needs, visit the NHSGGC website at