December 21, 2010

Calling All Health Promoters....Leave Santa Alone!

I think this one speaks
for itself...
I was surfing the net the other day, checking out all the fabulous blogs out there, where I came across an article entitled, "Help Santa Lower His Cancer Risk". The author spent I-don't-know-how-much-time analyzing calories per cookie, cookies per visit, and visits per global travel (either passionate about stats, or needs to get out more). So I went searching, albeit for only a few minutes until my attention went to something else, for more of these so-called health headlines. What I found made me choke on my sugar cookie, "Santa risks health by flying all night, sleep experts warn", "Santa should get off his sleigh, jog to trim image....Santa promotes obesity & drinking and driving". Finally, the one headline that couldn't be true..."Santa Claus story is detrimental to child development". This one deconstructed the popular story of Santa and related it to the North American culture. For example, topics included worker exploitation (of the elves), dangerous tools left around and elves standing on each other's shoulders (workplace safety issues), the use of Ho Ho Ho (related to the slang term we are so familiar with....not that I'm familiar with it or anything....), and even the lump of coal as a tool of passive aggression on Santa's part (and with the global warming crisis and all....). In the name of all that's sacred....come on!

Should I mention the fact that running
in boots is an injury waiting to happen?
Okay...so some of these headlines may be all in good humour, but I know a few were funded studies that came out of a few well known universities in NA. So why my blog? When it comes to analysing and scrutinizing the lifestyle choices of the general public, that's one thing...but when these judgement-based observations (wrapped up in scientific packages) are aimed at those cultural icons that we all know and love... enough is enough. You know you've gone to far when....

So Santa has a little sugar addiction and trouble sleeping at night...don't we all at some point? So he supervises a large group of elves, at least he is a believer in transformational leadership and hasn't created an autocracy or dictatorship. How could you motivate such a crowd to produce as much as they do without leadership strategies that build team cohesion (vs. tear it apart)?  And maybe Santa is carrying extra weight around his middle, but he is obviously active enough to fly and high altitudes (the VO2Max necessary to carry out such an activity belongs only to those elite athlete-types). Not to mention the amazing proprioception they guy must have to balance on rooftops like that. In addition to this, Santa is a practitioner in altruistic giving (something that research has suggested is linked to good health and a higher quality of life), he is socially connected to everyone...seriously, the guy knows EVERYONE (something that research has shown to improve health and length of life), and he is a chronic giggler (again, research suggests a good belly laugh is equal to 10 minutes on the rowing machine). So to all those health promoters who believe Santa needs a health intervention....go suck on a candy cane!

...and don't start picking on Mother Goose or the old lady who lives in the shoe for abuse of children either. Sure, some of those childhood nursery rhymes are creepy, if you really think about it, but so is the idea of an overweight old guy climbing down my chimney in the middle of the night.......nuff said?


Yup, my Santa is healthy, happy,
socially connected with a
wicked sense of humour!
 The point to Real Life Health is balance. Sure, we may get out of it during the holidays with all the chocolate, cookies, nogg, and fruitcake laying around at work...but so what? Enjoy the fruitcake (I know there are two camps of thought on fruitcake but you know what I'm getting at...) and do your best to get a few veggies in ya. Worst case scenerio, you enjoy the opulance and get back to your healthy lifestyle after Christmas. I haven't read a research study yet that suggests this will lead to cancer....have you?

That's all I got.

K

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