Written by Julie Jernigan, Asst. Copy Editor
Due to the recent time shift, the topic of eliminating Daylight Saving Time has once again made an appearance, but now experts have said it is costing us more money and is harmful to our health.
Daylight Saving Time first began in Germany in 1916 to save money during World War I, despite the belief it was from farmers, according to TIME. The U.S. officially adopted the ritual two years later for the same reason, but in actuality, the Chamber of Commerce endorsed it because when people got off of work, they had more light hours to do things, such as shopping.
It may have been created to save energy, but really, we’re losing more energy now.
Researchers in Indiana found that people did use less lights, but they used more air conditioning because their houses didn’t have a chance to cool off in the late afternoon, according to Business Insider. Also, there is an increase in gasoline usage, since people are staying out longer due to the extra hour of daylight.
Strokes and heart attacks have been linked to DST, but James Proud, inventor of Sense, a sleep tracker, is more concerned with disrupting our sleep cycles.
Till Roenneberg, a chronobiologist at Ludwig-Maximillian’s University in Munich, said our bodies never truly adjust to the time change.
“The majority of the population has drastically decreased productivity, decreased quality of life, increasing susceptibility to illness and is just plain tired,” Roenneberg told National Geographic.
Many people agree on changing DST, but there’s a disagreement on whether to stick to only DST or Standard Time.
“Ultimately, Daylight Saving is an economic tradition,” David Gerald, behavioral economist, told Huffington Post. “And all economic choices involve tradeoffs. Even if we decide to abolish Daylight Saving, there would be a large contingent of unhappy people.”
Parents and kids in Helena, Montana, are concerned about the elimination of outdoor sports if their state decides to abolish DST, which is currently in a bill being reviewed by the state.
“Few schools have lights in order to carry on their after-school activities,” Jim Opitz, with Helena Public School, told Helena Independent Record.
Will we ever eliminate DST? Not for a long time, but it’s important to keep the conversation going, and then maybe we’ll be able to choose.