MIAMI (CBSMiami) — By now, you’ve hopefully already changed all of your clocks to reflect the start of Daylight Saving Time.
Lately, there’s been a lot of talk of doing away with this whole time change business.
In fact, the Florida Legislature passed a bill to keep Daylight Saving Time year round!
But before you start celebrating 365 days a year of later sunsets, Congress still has to approve the measure.
Today’s “Lauren’s List” has some pros and cons about Daylight Saving Time that may impact your opinion.
Studies show people engage in more leisure activities after work than beforehand, so we’d likely benefit from more daylight hours after work than before. Research also shows kids get more exercise when the sun is out later in the evening.
This one is a pro and a con. The theory goes, you’ll save on electricity costs if the sun is out later. But this is Florida, so it’s hot. The advent of central heat and air conditioning means that temperature, not lighting, is the primary driver of energy use. So if the AC is still cranking to compensate for the heat outside, you’ll still be using plenty of electricity.
Two studies, one in the U.S. and one in Sweden, found that heart attack risk increased by up to 25 percent on the Monday after we move the clocks ahead. The same researchers found that the risk dropped by 21 percent when the clocks fall back. Eliminating this back and forth might help stabilize those statistics.
Crime And Safety
Crimes often happen under the cover of darkness. One study found that rates of outdoor robberies declined significantly when Daylight Saving Time was extended, after controlling for unrelated factors. Also, there’s evidence DST might reduce traffic-related deaths, especially for pedestrians, who are tougher to see when it’s dark out.
And here’s an interesting fact: TV networks see an annual 10 to 15 percent drop in viewership during the week after DST begins!
If you have an idea for a future Lauren’s List, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.