Science & Health

Daylight Saving Puts People at Risk of Injury

 

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The clock from Mrs. Fenstermaker’s room has yet been adjusted to reflect Daylight Saving’s Time.

Daylight saving time happens twice a year in the fall and spring.  In the fall, an hour of sleep is gained, while in the spring, an hour of sleep is lost, hence the saying fall back and spring forward.  Everyone knows about daylight saving time however, not many people know about the origin and side effects of daylight savings time.

The daylight saving time this year was on March 11, however, this date changes year to year.  The origin of daylight saving is a very strange and interesting history. According to nationalgeographic.com, “Benjamin Franklin first introduced the basic idea way back in 1784, but he did so with tongue planted firmly in cheek.”

Franklin first got the idea while he was staying in France.  He was intrigued by the fact that the sun was up when he woke up at 6 a.m.  Franklin thought that if people woke up to the sun and went to bed earlier at night then it would decrease the need for candles.

According to webexhibits.org, daylight saving time was not actually implemented until World War I. It was implemented in an effort to conserve fuel needed for electrical power.  After the war, the U.S. repealed daylight saving time but then reinstated it during World War II.

Before the Uniform Time Act of 1966, there was no regulation of how daylight saving was observed in different states.  

According to nationalgeographic.com, “‘In 1965 somebody wandered into an 18-story office building in St. Paul, Minnesota, and discovered that it housed 9 floors of city employees who did observe [daylight saving time] and 9 floors of country employees who did not.’”

Also according to nationalgeographic.com, a man also used daylight saving time as a way to avoid the Vietnam draft.  He was born at midnight on a day that made it more likely for him to be drafted. Those born on the day before however were much less likely to be drafted.

So, he claimed that the time in his state was actually an hour earlier.  He was able to effectively avoid the draft by using daylight saving time.

Additionally, there are many different side effects of daylight saving time.  Many of them occur due to a change in or loss of sleep.

There are some studies that support and others that refute this, but many people believe that there is an increase in car accidents the day after daylight saving time.  According to livescience.com, “Subtle changes in sleep patterns and circadian rhythms can alter human alertness and, in some cases, might increase the risk of potentially fatal car accidents.”

Another potentially fatal side effect was discovered by a team of Swedish researchers.  In their data, they found that the average rate of heart attacks increased by 5% in the three workdays after daylight saving time.  A separate study also found that that stroke rates in Finland increased by 8% during these days.

Perhaps the least harmful side effect is the increase in cyberloafing.  Cyberloafing, as techopedia defines it, is the actions of employees who use their Internet access at work for personal use while pretending to do legitimate work.

According to health.com, “Google searches for entertainment content (specifically the terms “YouTube,” “videos,” “music,” and “ESPN”) rise sharply on the Monday after the spring time change, according to a 2012 study in the Journal of Applied Psychology,” suggesting that sleep-deprived employees are spending more time cyberloafing.

 

Categories: Science & Health

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