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Daylight Saving Time: Why Bother?

Daylight Saving Time: Why Bother? iStock.com/Rawf8

As winter comes to an end, days are getting progressively longer, hailing the arrival of Daylight Saving Time (DST). Each year on the second Sunday in March, much of the Western world (and some other countries) moves its clocks forward one hour to compensate for the changing times of sunrise and sunset.

This Sunday at 2:00 am, the clocks will move forward an hour. Most people prefer to adjust their clocks as they go to be on Saturday night, and of course, there’s no need to adjust your computer or smartphone’s clock.

Unfortunately, this does mean we’ll lose an hour of sleep…

But why bother with DST? Each year, the transition from “normal time” to DST causes social disruptions to many services, including travel schedules. It has also been found to have adverse health effects, including increased risk of heart attacks, and seasonal or chronic depression.

Some argue that DST helps reduce energy consumption, but multiple studies have been conducted on the question, and have proved inconclusive. Energy savings vary by 0.15% to 2%, with some regions even consuming more when the clocks are forward.

The biggest advantages of DST are for retailers, who benefit from increased evening sunlight and more traffic to stores as a result. Builder William Willett, an early proponent of the system, may have been in favour due to the added daylight which allowed him to build for longer hours.

So, given the advantages and inconveniences of DST, should we continue using it? Is it still worth it?

Take a look at a world map and see just how many countries use DST and how many don’t. As you can see, the VAST majority of our planet’s regions, including the densely populated areas of Asia, India and Africa, do not observe DST…

What do you think? Should we be going through the trouble of changing the time twice a year? Or is it too much hassle? Which system has the best advantages? Weigh in on our Facebook page!

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