Daylight savings ends on Sunday, November 7, 2010 in most of the U.S and Canada. This yearly ritual prompts us to fall back by setting our clocks back an hour until the springtime when we spring forward again. Falling back is something we automatically do, but what are the benefits of ending daylight savings time? Many people are asking this question and some scientists are exploring the negative effects of the time change. In fact, according to reuters.com, setting our clocks back is bad for health, wastes energy and increases pollution.
Originally, as indicated by Time Change 2010 Fall: When and Why, daylight savings was initiated at the start of the 20th century to help increase “production in factories” and boost “morale.” In 1966, Congress standardized daylight savings. In 2005, it was extended four additional weeks.
Although it is lighter in the morning, turning back the clock decreases the amount of afternoon light most of us have. In fact, for those who work indoors, it may seem like you never see the sunshine. This negatively impacts our health for several reasons. First, lack of afternoon light limits the amount of outdoor activity and exercise for some. In turn, this contributes to the obesity problem. Furthermore, since vitamin D is derived from the sun, it can help individuals get their necessary intake of this important vitamin. Currently,”almost half of the world’s population has lower than optimal levels of vitamin D.” More light can also improve mood and overall health.
In regards to energy, an hour less of daylight means more time we have our lights turned on. In fact, a recent study discovered that “advancing clocks by an hour in the winter would lead to energy savings of at least 0.3 percent of daily demand in Britain.” According to dotsperiod.com, “in the UK, the clocks fall back to Standard Time” on “Sunday, October 31, 2010.”
Personally, I dislike the fall time change. There never seems to be enough hours in the day and having an extra hour of darkness in the evening simply makes everything colder, darker and more melancholy. As for exercise, I tend to workout at night anyhow, so I can’t see this affecting my exercise levels. Additionally, the extra hour of sleep we get from falling back is quite nice.
As for this year, it looks like we will still be turning our clocks back one hour. Don’t forget or you might be late for that very important date.