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Icebug
Eliza Törnkvist:

How can slipping still be a problem?

Eliza Törnkvist, one of the founders of Icebug, has had enough. It's time that slip accidents are taken seriously.

In the past, Icebug presented a survey on how often Swedes go outside during the winter, and how much of the population has slipped and hurt themselves. Unfortunately, the result shows what I always thought. Slipping is a huge problem - even though it shouldn't be.

Two-thirds of the population in Sweden go outdoors less during the winter, and almost every other Swede has slipped and injured themselves. According to the same survey, slip accidents are something that affects everyone, regardless of gender and age. But it is the older women who are most afraid of slipping.

No wonder really – we women are hit hard by slips. We are simply afraid to be outdoors when we suspect it might be icy and slippery. This leads to fewer opportunities for exercise, less fresh air, rigid movement patterns outdoors, and more sitting indoors.

According to statistics from the Norwegian Agency for Community Safety and Preparedness, women slip even more often than men, with painful and (not least for society) costly consequences. Why is it like that? The answer may lie in osteoporosis, older women's movement patterns, smaller feet, worse, narrower shoes, and an increased tendency to suffer from femur fractures, for example.

Eliza Törnkvist:

Isn't it wrong that 80 percent of women over 60 are afraid to go outside, just because it's winter?

There must be a solution

How is this remedied? Better and faster snow removal, of course, but there is a sure way to avoid the problems of limited mobility in winter: Studs on the shoes!

How do I know that? I am a now-retired founder of Icebug, the company that created the world's first studded running and walking shoes. An invention that not only leads to a minimal risk of slipping, but also to people daring to be outside more and feeling better.

I am appalled when I see the numbers in the survey. Partly because I have worked against the problem for so many years, but also because I belong to the target group that is most afraid of slipping.

If half of Sweden's population had fallen and hurt themselves on an escalator, there would have been a great deal of clamor that all of Sweden's escalators had to be made safer.

''For many years I have walked with our big, lively dogs. Without slipping once''

Now is the time for slip accidents to be taken seriously. By authorities and society - but also by you as a private person.

I am 74 years old, and studded shoes are a necessity for me. For many years, I have walked with our large, lively dogs on unlit, snowy, small roads, without slipping once. It gives a wonderful feeling of freedom to be able to walk as usual without fear of slipping and injuring yourself.

I hope that studded shoes become a natural part of life in Sweden in the winter. That it becomes as natural as having a life jacket on the lake, a seat belt in the car, a bicycle helmet on your head - and studded tires on your car.

Because isn't it a shame that 80 percent of Sweden's women over 60 sit at home afraid to spend time outside, just because it's winter?

/Eliza Törnkvist

Designer, entrepreneur, and co-founder of the Swedish shoe company Icebug.

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