Santa is not a well man.

He’s been doing the same high-level stressful job for as long as anyone can remember, and now he’s doing it for our children. Yes he gets the best part of a year off, but just how long can he keep going?

I don’t want to appear preachy, but be aware that with his current lifestyle and obligations, Santa is not going to go on forever. Don’t be surprised if one year, you have to deliver all those gifts yourself and pretend it was Santa.

Just look at the evidence:


  • Job in logistics – renowned for being a sector of decreasing returns, when taking into account tariffs, fuel and duty, and infrastructure
  • High public expectation, huge responsibility = massively unfair level of stress on one person
  • Dealing with animals, and therefore animal welfare people. Do you know the regulations for keeping working reindeer? Nope, neither do I. 
  • Dealing with elves; renowned for being tricky customers, these little chaps are hot on their ethnic minority, disability, and human rights laws. ‘Elf and Safety, mate. 


  • Long periods of static position and limited leg room in sleigh. Plus, new sleigh models have a smaller parcel shelf, so smaller parcels may need to be suspended from ‘curry hook’ in passenger foot well.

Metabolic syndrome:

  • The classic combination of increased girth, increased blood pressure, high cholesterol and high glucose. Just look at the diet and lifestyle of this chap.
  • Mince-pies and clotted cream – diet high in sugar and saturated fat – hypercholesterolaemia and hyperglycaemia leading to increased risk of diabetes and cardiovascular events

Cardiovascular disease:

  • Excess fat in diet, being overweight, and not getting sufficient cardiovascular exercise to strengthen heart muscle contribute to risk of cardiovascular disease
  • High blood pressure and stressed lifestyle likely to cause complications.


  • Excessive alcohol intake increases concentration of uric acid in blood increasing likelihood of developing gout
  • Obesity, high blood pressure, hypercholesterolaemia and decreased kidney function can all contribute to increased risk of gout

Chronic kidney disease:

  • Developing type 2 diabetes and having prolonged high concentration of glucose in blood over time can damage fine capillaries in kidneys, decreasing kidney function.

Type 2 diabetes:

  • Obesity through high-calorie diet – waist circumference now a risk factor for diabetes – due to increased percentage of body fat, likely increased insulin resistance, leading to over-production of insulin to compensate.
  • Likely impaired fasting glycaemia or early stages of diabetes, as has been overweight for a considerable  time. However, there has been no over-frequent incidence of Santa using people’s toilets, and he usually sticks to ‘just the one’ sherry at each house so unlikely to be experiencing osmotic symptoms of diabetes such as increased thirst or need to wee.
  • Night-time working and long hours have also been connected with developing type 2 diabetes (admittedly in Italian shift-workers) – and this chap must have the weirdest body clock ever.

Erectile dysfunction:

  • Sustained hyperglycaemia leads to damage of penile capillaries. Decreased incidences of nookie with Mrs Christmas may lead to marital problems.

Clinical depression:

  • Well if you had all that lot, there’d be a greater chance of being depressed, right?


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