Ben Franklin’s One Bad Idea….

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Daylight Saving Time.

I hate it and I struggle with resetting my body clock, even when I get an “extra” hour in the Fall (the hour that was taken from me in the Spring). I don’t really care what time it gets dark. It’s the switching back-and-forth twice each year that throw me off my game.

I’ve written about Daylight Saving Time before, but in light of this hilarious spoof on Nacho Punch, I feel compelled to revisit the DST issue.

H/T to the team at The Daily Dish for this find.

It’s Dark Too Early

Every where, when we go off Daylight Saving Time and return to the traditional “natural” time, most people moan and groan about coming home from work in the dark. Those are the people who work in the typical 8-5 jobs which have a starting time and, at least purportedly, an ending time.

To some extent time is a construct, built around the length of time it takes for the earth to make a full axial rotation. We can ascribe a time label to darkness as whatever time we, as a society, choose to make it.

The real issue is the construct of the typical  “work day,” where people get up, dress, leave home and go somewhere to work for someone else until some time designated as the end of the official workday. For most office jobs, this time is 5 p.m. for administrative staff and 5:30 or 6 p.m. (or later) for professionals with higher level responsibilities.

Before the Industrial Revolution, most men worked where they lived or within walking distance of where they lived. Women, of course, almost never worked outside the home unless they were a domestic, nanny or tutor. And those who were usually lived with the family they served.

So the “coming home in the dark” is only an issue because most of us have to leave home in the morning to go to a workplace where we exchange our time for a paycheck and, for the fortunate, other benefits.

Personally, I don’t care what time it gets dark if I can spend some time outside every day.

It’s Bad for Health

There’s plenty of research to document that gaining and losing an hour twice each year disrupts our bodies and leads to sleep disturbances and that has health implications.

There’s also an increase in accidents, in the week after a time change.

This article from LiveScience summarizes some of the health impacts of the time change.

It Doesn’t Save Energy

The idea that Daylight Saving Time would reduce energy consumption hasn’t been supported by the limited body of research that’s been done. In the aggregate, it might save a tiny fraction of energy but that seems to depend a lot on the climate and the size of the data set.

It appears that increased use of air conditioning in the summer actually increases energy consumption during DST, rather than conserving it.

Do you like Daylight Saving Time or do you prefer the “standard” time we’re now in?

About Sheree

Change Catalyst, Idea Explorer, Dot-Connector, Square Peg