It has been proven – scientifically – that Christmas time and in particular shopping during the silly season is one of the most stressful times of the year, leading to elevated heart rates and blood pressure. A recent fun experiment conducted by kalahari.com, SA’s leading online store, proved that higher stress and adrenaline levels are the order of the day as thousands of South Africans flock to shopping centres around the country to do their annual Christmas shopping. In the kalahari.com study, which was overseen by highly regarded biokineticist, Habib Noorbhai, two moms were given the task of buying 11 items on a shopping wish list with a limited budget. A TomTom heart monitor was attached to the moms who acted as the guinea pigs to measure their heart rates while the medical professional on site regularly measured the spikes or drops in their heart rate as well as their blood pressure. Mom number one, Angela Beukes, shopped online while keeping an eye on her small children, and mom number two, Soraya Rossouw, headed to a popular mall with her children in tow on a Saturday morning. The shopping list included a variety of toys, a braai, top selling CDs, Jamie Oliver’s new recipe book and a Bear Grylls knife. Registered biokineticist, Noorbhai says, ‘In addition to the heart rate monitor, I also conducted descriptive and inferential statistics in order to analyse their experiences. Beukes completed her shopping on kalahari.com in approximately six minutes, while Rossouw managed to find only nine of her items in just under four hours and faced the additional frustration that items were not in store yet or not available in the centre, further pushing her stress levels higher. The bored kids also added to her increased adrenal levels.’ Kirby Gordon, marketing manager of kalahari.com, says, ‘We know that Christmas shopping is a tradition and that although Boney M, long queues, limited parking and a sweaty Santa in red nylon suit are part of this tradition, it creates high levels of anxiety. Our experiment outlined once again how easy, convenient and stress-free online shopping is. Seeing how quickly Angela worked through the list online, once again confirmed it. She placed items in her basket as she shopped on the site and before checkout she was able to edit her basket down to come within budget. In less than 6 minutes, she resumed her daily life.’ To view the shop-off experiment, please steer your cursor to the .