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The growing arguments against changing our clocks

Last Updated Mar 13, 2017 at 7:46 am PDT

(iStock Photo)

One province, several states consider ditching the Daylight Saving Time switch

Studies show springing forward impacts worker productivity

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The insistent tone of that alarm clock feels awfully early the Monday after the adjustment to Daylight Saving Time. But it’s not just the bumped up start to the workday that has many people arguing against the semi-annual time change.

Jurisdictions surrounding BC, including Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California, have been mulling over whether or not to ditch the switch, pointing out the original energy-saving benefits of Daylight Saving Time are rarely seen anymore.

Studies have also shown moving the clocks ahead an hour prompts a reduction in worker productivity and can cause more car accidents.

“There are some significant impacts that we see that affect people’s driving ability or skill after the time change,” explains Aileen Shibata, a program manager with ICBC‘s Road Safety. “The number one thing is your ability to concentrate is lessened because you’re missing some sleep. And your reaction time — the ability to react to hazards on the road or anything else unexpected,'” she tells NEWS 1130.

Disruptions, even minor ones, to sleep patterns can have major effects, according to researchers. “Our study suggests that sudden, even small changes in sleep could have detrimental effects,” Amneet Sandhu of the University of Colorado told Reuters in 2014 after a study of Michigan hospital data showed a 25 per cent jump in heart attacks on the Monday after daylight saving time began.

A US study in December even found that federal judges handed out sentences that were, on average, five per cent longer the day after daylight saving time began than those given out one week before or after.

Saskatchewan, Arizona and Hawaii are the only jurisdictions in North America where people don’t have to reset their clocks twice a year.