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No clock change “would improve health”

1 November 2010

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Experts have claimed that the nation would be a far healthier place if the clocks were not to go back each year.

A report in the British Medical Journal suggests that the health and well-being of the country would “vastly” improve under such a move.

Light evenings would encourage more people to get involved in outdoor pursuits if the clocks were not put back, but still went forward in the spring, it was claimed.

Dr Mayer Hillman, senior fellow emeritus at the Policy Studies Institute, highlighted the link between low physical activity and many chronic illnesses, saying that more daylight would prompt many people to head outside and get active.

He said an extra hour of light in the evening would benefit children – a number of whom are not allowed to leave their homes after dark – because they will be able to engage in outdoor activities for longer.

In addition, elderly people who do not go out in the dark for fear of assault and poorer vision and hearing would have more time to take part in leisure and social activities.

Dr Hillman said research showed people felt happier, more energetic and had lower sickness rates in the longer and brighter days of summer compared to the shorter days of winter.

“Adopting this proposal for a clock change is an effective, practical, and remarkably easily managed way to better align our waking hours with the available daylight during the year,” he said.

Copyright © Press Association 2010

British Medical Journal

Your comments (terms and conditions apply):

“We should definitely stop putting the clocks back, we should stick to summertime all year round and benefit from an hour longer of daylight, which would help the electricity bill, less accidents on the road after school and after work (outcome of 3 year trial years ago). And above all no disruption in rhythm. I am surprised that I have not heard anybody lobbying for stopping to disrupt the routine twice a year. We all have to adjust our sleeping patterns when the clocks is set back or forward. Specially for people on the autistic spectrum this is a big issue. Our bodies would be much more comfortable without these changes every half year” – Nicole van Schie, Pembrokeshire