Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

Analysis Christmas 2009: Christmas Fayre

Santa Claus: a public health pariah?

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b5261 (Published 17 December 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b5261

Rapid Response:

excercise for santa would risk injury!

What and excellent article to bring a smile to the faces of those who
no longer believe in the red faced bearded wonder. However, surely the
authors miss several key points in their assessment of Santa's fitness.
Surely when hopping from chimney to chimney he is contributing to his 30
minutes excercise for the day. Extreme sports also raise the heart rate
effectively and build on leadership and team skills between Santa and his
reindeers. In addition, with the BMA now supporting a greener world, using
sleigh and reindeer is carbon neutral and opting for their choice of
bicycles would run the risk of enducing repetitive strain injuries,
muscles strains or if out on the ice, a nasty fall and possible fracture.
Jogging has also been shown to cause high levels of stress on joints -
middled aged gents may be therefore at higher risk of inducing
osteoathritis?

In addition, Santa is only around for 1 month of the year. Should we
be attacking the Easter bunny in the same way? On the face of it a healthy
animal that is active but underneath that lies a darker side with eggs
full of fat and calories.

Maybe a suitable remedy to the infection risk would be to e-mail
children, webcast and even Twitter to ask what they want for Christmas?

The most important point of the Santa saga is that we do look at him
as the symbol of Christmas and not the nativity. Who knows, maybe in years
to come we will have the baby Jesus being visited by Santa himself?

Until then, I will leave my mince pie (low fat); non alcoholic fizzy
wine and a wish list in the hope that Santa will visit me on Christmas
Eve.

Competing interests:
Believed in Santa Claus until the age of 7

Competing interests: No competing interests

20 December 2009
David G samuel
F2 Care of the Elderly Medicine
Prince Charles Hospital, Merthyr Tydfil CF47 9DT