The seasons have a huge impact on us – ushering in changes in weather, in diets, in types and levels of activity. For this reason, seasonal health changes are important to take note of. And the Winter Holiday Season, in particular, can massively impact our health.
Shockingly, experts at the Journal of Social Science took a look at 57,451,944 official U.S. death certificates from 1979 to 2004 from various hospitals. Here’s what they found:
“On Christmas and New Year, mortality from natural causes spikes in dead-on-arrival(DOA) and emergency department (ED) settings. There are more DOA/ED deaths on 12/25, 12/26, and 1/1 than on any other day.”2
Your first instinct might be to think that this is due to the fact that these are the coldest months of the year, and therefore give rise to cold- and flu- related health problems, leading to more serious cardiac issues. Although cold weather may be the most culpable factor, it may not be all to blame. The above research reports holiday spikes for most major disease groups spanning across every demographic group, not just those relating to heart complications.2 In fact, to study the potential influence of cold temperatures on death rates during the holidays, Dr. John Knight of the University of Melbourne in Austrailia examined death certificates of more than 738,000 individuals from 1988 to 2013, but from New Zealand, where their seasons are switched and Christmas happens in the Summer. They concluded that:
“There were 4.2 percent more heart-related deaths during the last week of December and the first week of January – the period encompassing Christmas and New Year’s Eve – than would be expected if the holidays didn’t affect death rates”. 3
Now, this is not to say that cold weather has no effect, as influenza is still most prevalent during wintertime, and in general, cardiac death rates tend to be lowest during the summer. But, these studies do suggest that there is something about the holiday season which make people go blue. Reasons that cause this ‘Christmas Effect’ remain widely debated, but there are some proposed explanations such as increases in activity and stress during the holidays, changes in diet and alcohol consumption, lower staffing at hospitals, less access to care due to travel plans, changes in environment due to traveling, and increased risk of accidents.
To help you stay safe during this holiday season, here are some tips from EarthWater:
1. Wash Your Hands (especially when preparing food)
2. Manage Your Stress (Woo-Sahh)
3. Get frequent check-ups
4. Prevent Injuries (fires, falls, fender-benders)
5. Eat and Drink Responsibly(balance is key)
We might not be able to help you much with the first four, but for #5, try drinking some Earthwater before big meals or before and after consuming alcohol. It hydrates better than regular water, keeps you energized, and is less risky than caffeinated sugar drinks! And, it’s got plenty of benefits!
- Improves Metabolism
- Increases Enzyme Activity
- Blood Oxygenation
- Nutrient Absorption
- Rejuvenates Cells
- Balances pH Levels
- Boosts Immunity
- Fights Free Radicals
- Removes Heavy Metals
- Boost Energy Levels Naturally
- Improves & Sustains Longevity
So Stay Safe Earthwater Fam! And Happy Holidays!