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Health risks of canceling daylight savings time

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A study by José María Martín-Olalla at the University of Seville retrospectively analyzed the potential impact of daylight saving time cancellation, or changing the clock twice a year. His conclusion is that maintaining the same time for all 12 months increases human activity in the early winter mornings, which can affect human health.

The habit of changing clocks has allowed scientists to analyze their impact on various aspects of human physiology and social life. In recent years, many of these studies have highlighted the risks of practice and often demanded that it be abolished.However, science has been unable to analyze what the outcome of the cancellation will be from an experimental point of view. Dawn It is necessary to save time.

To solve this problem, Professor Martín-Olalla compared daily work rhythms with daily sleep / wake rhythms in the United Kingdom and Germany. Both countries share similar latitudes and living standards. Daylight Saving Time has been in operation since 1918 in the United Kingdom. In contrast, in Germany, daylight saving time was not applied from the end of World War II until 1980.

By comparison, Germany starts the day 30 minutes earlier than the UK. The highlight is that in the UK, the start of activity exactly coincides with the time of the winter sunrise. Human activity It was observed in Germany before that.

Martín-Olalla, above all Social factors The ongoing practice of daylight savings time in the United Kingdom has helped maintain this adjustment optimal from a chronological point of view. In Germany, the dawn of summer was an hour earlier than in the United Kingdom, so there was no daylight saving time for 30 years, so human activity moved earlier in the day. In winter, this early start of the day led to early morning human activity, which persisted thanks to increased use of artificial light.

This factor should be taken into account in the balance of seasonal daylight savings time risks. The British have been exposed to time changes and associated risks for two days of the year, while the Germans have faced three months of the year starting their daily activities during dark morning hours.

The same results were found when testing the American daily rhythm against the German daily rhythm. Daylight saving time has been adopted in major cities in the United States since the beginning of the 20th century.

Extrapolated in our time, researchers at the University of Seville argue that if winter time is used throughout the year, more sectors of the population will be willing to start working again early in the spring and summer. To do. People are ready to go to work early.If this preference persists, it will lead to an increase early morning Winter activities. This is not optimal from a physiological point of view.

The authors of the study ultimately point out that at mid-latitudes, there is no alternative without the risks that seasons pose to modern society. social life Is managed by a schedule, and its daylight savings time is effective in aligning the beginning of a working day with sunrise, adjusting human activity to the seasons as well as the time gone by.

A paper by Professor Martín-Olalla, “Chronobiology of the Risk of Canceling Daylight Saving Time,” was published in Chronobiology International. He has previously published six other research papers in journals such as: Current Biology, Scientific Reports When European Journal of Internal Medicine Concretely analyze the adaptation of modern people activity In a light-dark seasonal cycle that includes the role of daylight savings time time Play with this problem.


Daylight saving time does not upset the human cycle


For more information:
José María Martín-Olalla, Chronobiological Assessment of the Risk of Canceling Daylight Saving Time, Chronobiology International (2021). DOI: 10.1080 / 07420528.2021.1963760

Quote: Health risks of summer time cancellation (October 26, 2021) taken from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-10-health-cancelling-daylight.html on October 26, 2021 I did.

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Health risks of canceling daylight savings time

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