I’ve talked before about how changing the clocks twice a year disrupts our daily routines, our sleep patterns, our health, our energy usage, and even the economy.
So, I was quite pleased to see that my Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), and Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.) recently introduced a new federal bill to get rid of standard time completely and make daylight saving time (DST) permanent and year-round in most U.S. states.
Meaning you won’t need to “spring forward” and “fall back” to reset your clocks twice a year. Plus, remaining in DST year-round simply makes more sense…
Countless benefits of year-round DST
First introduced in the U.S. in 1918, DST was seen as a way to save energy during the throes of World War I. The idea was to maximize sunlight hours during the longer days of the year by taking away an hour of morning sun, when many are sleeping, and adding it to the end of the day.
Of course, you can’t really make the days any longer with DST. (There’s a wise Native American saying that you can’t make your blanket any longer by cutting off an inch from the top and sewing it onto the bottom.) And, of course, the days will still get longer and shorter with the annual solar solstices.
But science shows that the extra hour of daylight at the end of the day, instead of at the beginning, is more beneficial. And as I see it, there are three specific reasons why…
1.) More time for outdoor physical activity
Getting an extra hour of daylight in the late afternoon allows more time to enjoy leisure and recreational time at the end of the workday. In fact, according to a study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, during DST, walking increases by 62 percent and bike riding increases by 38 percent.
And clearly this extra activity during DST benefits your health…
2.) Major health and safety benefits
Studies published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity and the Journal of Physical Activity and Health have found that the extra hour of daylight that comes with DST increases physical fitness and reduces obesity in children.
Other studies have found that observing DST year-round would also reduce heart attack, stroke, and seasonal depression risks.
Plus, according to a 2015 Brookings Institute study, year-round DST would even reduce automobile accidents and accidents involving pedestrians. It would also reduce robberies by 27 percent.
3.) A natural economy boost
According to JP Morgan Chase, economic activity drops between 2.2 percent and 4.9 percent when it gets darker earlier in the evenings. So, by remaining in year-round DST, the economy would no longer experience such a large, regular drop in activity.
Plus, bi-annual time changes disrupt farming schedules and suppliers in the agricultural community (especially those who use natural approaches), not to mention our own biological clocks.
Furthermore, observing DST year-round reserves energy. In fact, during the additional four weeks that the U.S. extended DST in 2005, the U.S. Department of Energy found there were energy savings of about 0.5 percent per day.
Later studies also showed that small but significant energy savings occur during DST hours—which adds up to huge amounts at the end of the day.
So, just stop changing the clocks—please!
Tell your congressman and senators in Washington, D.C., to support the Sunshine Protection Act and leave our clocks alone! And let me know how you feel about year-round DST by dropping me a Facebook comment on my Insiders’ Cures Facebook page or shooting me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.