The Daylight-Saving Time Debate - Is It Good or Bad?
When and why did Daylight Saving time originate? We’ve all probably heard the argument that it was a practice implemented to help farmers grow and harvest their crops, right? However, contrary to popular belief, farmers were actually the ones who lobbied against the time change when it was first put into effect. In this blog, we’ll dive into the topic of daylight-saving time and discuss why it was first implemented, and why we still do it today.
As you probably know by now, daylight saving time ended yesterday, November 6th at 2 A.M. local time, resulting in the clocks moving back one hour. So, we hope you weren’t late for work this morning!
Daylight-Saving time was originally implemented by the Germans in 1916 during World War 1. The reasoning behind the idea at that time was to conserve electricity in order to save fuel for the war efforts. Shortly after this implementation, a few other countries decided to follow suit. This included the United Kingdom, France, as well as the United States in early 1918. So the question that has arisen is, now that it’s been over 100 years, is the idea of daylight-saving time still beneficial or even necessary?
Well, some might say it depends on your area of expertise and line of work. For example, as mentioned earlier, the reasoning behind daylight-saving time (DST) was to preserve fuel. So I would imagine if you work in electrical construction, You may be a fan of longer days in order to cut down on temporary power and lighting costs. Shorter days means less light as the working day comes to an end, leading to more fuel, power cables, and generators required. Most job sites begin work before the sun rises and well into the evening which can require plenty of temporary lighting throughout the site. It's also probably worth mentioning that practically every household in America uses electricity and lights. Therefore, we would use less lights in our homes with DST implemented, meaning more cost savings on your electric bill each month.
However, imagine the agricultural industry. Farmers will tend to their crops not based on the hour of the day, but based on the positioning of the sun. Therefore, with a time change implemented they would work shorter hours resulting in less pay and less yield from their crops. Longer days means they would have to wait an extra hour for the moisture to evaporate to harvest crops while still leaving at the same time. So evidently, in order to classify DST as helpful or hurtful in terms of business, it would be subjective based on what line of work you’re in.
Daylight-Saving Time Research
Due to so many strong opinions of the matter, the debate will seemingly never come to an end. There has been extensive research that shows negative and positive affects on both sides of the spectrum. On one side, more sunlight allows for longer days which is great for our mental health because you have more time to spend outside and absorb natural Vitamin D. It allows you to make a lifestyle change and spend more time exercising during the day.
However, springing the time forward changes our sleeping patterns leaving us with one less hour of sleep. While that may not seem like a lot, research has shown that there is a 6% increase in fatal car accidents each year the week after Daylight-Saving time in March. Was it from the loss of sleep? It could possibly be from more people speeding on the way morning commute into work because they were running late. It's difficult to determine the true nature of this incline, but I think we all can see the good as well as the bad from Daylight-Saving time.
This time change is said to have also impacted the economy for the better because there is more time left over in the day when the working day is over to do the things that you enjoy. This includes being able to squeeze in your favorite exercise class or even heading to the mall to do some shopping before it gets dark. On the other hand, it can result in higher costs for businesses from lower productivity mainly due to sleep loss. So overall, DST can be expensive for some and can be beneficial for others. I would say it’s truly up to you to make your informed decision on how you stand.
Sunshine Protection Act has recently been launched in Florida to eliminate DST all together. Although this is not set in stone just yet, so as far as everyone is concerned whether daylight saving time will be abolished completely or not, it would require the approval of the House of Representatives and President Joe Biden first. This would result in one final daylight-saving period in spring in order to enjoy an entire year of longer days, (excluding Arizona and Hawaii). Until the Sunlight Protection Act is passed, however, we will still be changing the clocks twice a year, once in March and again in November.
Regardless of whether Daylight Saving is good, bad, or being stopped, the ATI team wishes you health and prosperity through all things in your work and personal life. Don’t let DST get in the way of your goals and keep at it until you reach your full potential! For any questions about this article, our products, or services, please contact one of our sales representatives at (800)-597-9311 or email us at PPG@ATIelectrical.com.