Fall’s Daylight Savings Time may have potential health and safety risks
SAN DIEGO, November 2, 2021– Across the US Daylight Savings Time reaches its end this coming Sunday, November 7th at 2 A.M. Most Americans will set their clocks to a “fall back” position – one hour earlier
Daylight Savings Time 2021
Sunday, November 7, will have the unique feeling of being a much longer day than usual, followed by the oftentimes shocking reality of less daylight by which to enjoy it.
Sunsets will become progressively later throughout Standard Time, with some feeling the proverbial pinch of having less sunlight and, therefore, less quality time by which to enjoy it.
Follow the sun
According to True New Jersey, Daylight Savings Time was popularized in 1907 by English architect William Willett who suggested using daylight more efficiently, though likely originating with Benjamin Franklin.
While Benjamin Franklin visited Paris in 1784, he is alleged to have written a letter to the Journal of Paris. His letter recommended a tax on Parisians whose homes were shuttered after sunrise. Why? To dissuade the burning of candles versus a society of productivity.
Early to be, early to rise, makes a man healthy and wise. – Ben Franklin
Though most US states practice Daylight Saving Time and Standard Time, Arizona and Hawaii opt for year-round maximum sunlight. As do the US territories of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, and the Virgin Islands.
It is interesting to note that Daylight Saving Time and Standard Time is practiced in European, North American, Central American, South American, Antarctica, and Eurasian countries. Occurrence dates are specified by their varying time zones and hemispheres.
Though it is estimated that 55% of Americans do not feel disrupted by time changes, 28% feel it is a minor disruption with another 13% indicating a major disruption, according to Britannica ProCon.org.
Further, approximately 40% of Americans would prefer to stay in Standard Time throughout the year, 31% would prefer to stay in Daylight Savings Time all year and only 28% of Americans prefer the twice-yearly time change.
Daylight Savings Time and health
The challenge relative to transitioning to Standard Time, is that it can be disorienting to human physiology. This is caused as one recalibrates light, dark, sights, sound, visual, habit, and other aspects of life.
Moreover, bodily functions such as hormones, the brain, heart, digestion and more can be impacted. There are increased occurrences of heart attacks and strokes.
Criminal activity is another concern as it is believed that more robberies and other law-breaking activities occur when there is less natural sunlight and more opportunity to go unseen.
Transportation safety could be impacted as greater daylight improves visibility, mental acuity and is positive for reducing human error.
Environmentally, more sunlight throughout the day could be a plus for conserving energy resources, maximizing solar panels and sun-dependent energy. And, encouraging higher levels of human activity with health benefits from increased walking, biking, shopping, socialization, and more.
Seasonal depression is a reality for some as they experience Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, due to reductions in natural light.
Legislative moves have been made over the years to enact a standardized time throughout the US which would be consistent and intended to ensure maximum daylight.
Various resolutions have been passed over the years, but the law needed to secure Daylight Time have yet to be successful.
The Sunshine Protection Act was first introduced by US Senator Marco Rubio in 2018, reintroduced by US Representative Vern Buchanan in 2019 and later 2021; and, finally, reintroduced in its then form by US Senator Marco Rubio in 2021.
Though there has been bipartisan support, The Sunshine Protection Act has brought opposition by concerned parents with school-aged children, along with various trades unions with workers who by trade are early risers–all of whom are concerned with the potential impacts of darker early mornings.
Regardless of the evolution of Daylight Savings Time and Standard Time, there are opportunities for enjoying life. Even as we segue into Standard Time and shorter periods of sunlight.
There is perhaps a greater opportunity to more fully enjoy the pleasures of home’s hearth. Particularly as we shift our activities, wardrobes, and recipes to adapt to the warmth and beauty of the fall and winter seasons.
Until next time, enjoy the ride in good health!
(Main image: Thanks to Kevin Ku @ikukevk for making this photo available freely on Unsplash 🎁