The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that serious injuries occur in one out of every five falls. While you cannot stop every fall, knowing how to do it safely is a huge benefit.
Whether you are navigating icy sidewalks, participating in sports or simply going about your day, being aware of proper falling techniques can make a substantial difference in whether you walk away unscathed or rush to the emergency room.
It may seem difficult to do, but the best way to reduce the chances of a bad injury is to stay relaxed during a fall. Your body cannot absorb the impact of a fall if you tense up, so make sure to resist the urge to lock your joints or contract your muscles.
Bending your knees when a fall is imminent lowers your center of gravity, giving you the ability to better control your balance. You may be able to avoid the fall completely, but if not, bending your knees will also help your body absorb the impact, leading to less force that could break bones or cause serious injuries.
Tuck and roll
Tuck your chin to your chest as you fall. This position protects your head and neck from direct impact. You also should draw your arms in, if possible, and roll once you hit the ground. Doing this also distributes the force and prevents it from centering in one area.
Aim the fall
If you have the ability to move during the fall, try to land on the fleshy parts of your body. This provides cushioning, and while you may experience bruising, the chances of breaking a bone or suffering a more severe injury lessen.
While no one plans to fall, preparing for the possibility can make a significant difference in reducing the risk of injury. You can practice these techniques in a controlled environment to build muscle memory, increasing the likelihood that your body will instinctively adopt safer falling habits when the need arises.