Could Christmas be killing Santa?

Although he only works one night a year, Santa is stressed. Not only this, but his stress levels could be damaging his health.

Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year… despite this, Christmas also comes hand-in-hand with money worries, winter health woes, and superhuman preparation activities - how on earth are you expected to get everything ready on time for the big day?

With so much going on, it seems normal to feel a little stressed this time of year.

Here at Medichecks, we were interested to find out who is the most stressed at Christmas time. We recruited four people with very different lives: a single mum, a company chief executive (C.E.O.), a busy chef… and finally, Father Christmas himself.

Each person submitted saliva samples using our Stress Cortisol Saliva Tests (4) to measure their cortisol levels at four points on the same day in December. Results were analysed by our expert doctors, alongside other indications of stress, such as blood pressure.

Our results found that the chef had the least high-stress levels. This was closely followed by the C.E.O. and the single mum…

Shockingly, our results revealed that Santa (a.k.a. Martin Lavender from Leicester, who alongside being the ‘real’ Santa, also has a side job running children’s party events in his red suit 😉) had the highest stress levels of the four. Not only this, but Santa’s cortisol level was heightened above the threshold of a ‘normal’ range for three out of four measurements.

It may seem that Santa has it easy. 364 days of the year Santa can put his feet up and watch as his elves frantically dash about building our presents. However, although he only works 1 day a year, Santa is stressed. Not only this, but his stress levels were so high that it could even be damaging his health.

Martin said: “I certainly do work hard at this time of year, but I love what I do, so the results are surprising. I honestly don’t feel stressed, but my body is telling a different story. Maybe it’s time for the reindeer to take the strain and the elves to do all the wrapping – Santa is the frontline man after all.”

What is most shocking is that, despite his blood results, Santa (Martin) did not feel particularly stressed. This is not uncommon. One of our expert reporting doctors, Dr Hamed Kamali, had this to say “Crucially, before testing, Santa believed he was the least stressed. In fact, physiologically the opposite was true, which demonstrates the value of testing. It’s entirely possible that you could be putting yourself at risk from stress-related conditions, and not know it.”

Medichecks Stress Cortisol Saliva Tests (4) can be ordered online, are delivered straight to your front door. Samples are collected in the comfort of your own home. The tests are fast, accurate and confidential and give our customers the information needed to achieve better health and wellbeing.

Upon closer consideration, we think that being the ‘real’ Santa probably comes with a high amount of responsibility. Santa has a lot of people to please (238 million children to be precise) and must do so with substantial time pressure. Also, his lengthy commute from The North Pole must be incredibly tiresome. So, it is understandable why his stress levels are higher than normal at this time of year.

So, how did Santa take the news? And what does he plan to do about it?

Santa said, “For my own elf and safety I’m looking forward to a well-deserved break, and I’m thinking of travelling to America in my Santa suit – that should raise a few eyebrows!”

This year has been incredibly stressful for us all. We agree with Santa. Taking a break from work this Christmas, and enjoying some quality rest and relaxation, will be beneficial for everyone.

Dr Kamali had some extra advice “For anyone with serious concerns about their stress levels this Christmas, we’d suggest booking to see a GP and making small changes, such as choosing healthier food options, to boost wellbeing.”

As for Santa, we recommend we all give him a thought this Christmas eve and perhaps leave him a refreshment (or two) for the road. Our results say he may need it.