If you turn back clocks, you are doing damage to your health and the environment, according to a new report from Reuters.
The act — known as Daylight Saving Time (DST), which you should be doing if you don’t want to be early for everything — shortens the amount of daylight that human beings have access to during their prime active hours — and this is a bad thing.
By placing limits on access to sunlight, DST essentially limits activities causing health problems in individuals. If we did not turn back clocks, that would leave an extra hour of daylight, thus encouraging more people to exercise and boosting vitamin D production.
In a piece in the British Medical Journal published Friday, Mayer Hillman of the Policy Studies Institute in Britain said that research shows that people are happier, more energetic and have lower susceptibility to sickness in summer, adding that “moods and health decline during duller days of winter.”
“It must be rare to find a means of vastly improving the health and well-being of nearly everyone in the population — and at no cost… And here we have it.”
Robert Graham, a doctor at New York’s Lenox Hill Hospital, said deciding not to turn clocks back in winter “should be considered to encourage people to get out more and get more exercise,” Reuters reports.
Diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and other forms of chronic illness are caused due to lack of exercise.
“As a society we are always looking for accessible, low cost, little-to-no harm interventions,” Graham said. “By not putting the clocks back and increasing the number of accessible daylight hours, we may have found the perfect one.”
It’s easy to dismiss the theory as making all that much of a difference on the surface, but when you consider a Scotland-based study showing that it would result in 300 extra hours of daylight per year, it’s easy to see how exercise could naturally increase.
I know in my own life, I tend to stop working out and being active in the winter months, especially as temperatures take a tumble into the teens. When you mix in the finding that it could also reduce energy usage by as much as 0.3 percent in Britain alone, it’s also good for the environment. How good?
According to Elizabeth Garnsey, an expert in innovative studies at Cambridge University, it would be the “equivalent to saving 450,000 metric tons of CO2 during winter alone.”
What do you think, readers? Should our global habit to turn back clocks end?
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