Many say that resetting the clocks every six months does more harm than good. This is why several lawmakers in the state of Pennsylvania are proposing solutions on both ends.
HARRISBURG, PA – Before we went to bed on Saturday, we all set our clocks back an hour, or didn’t remember, and did so this morning after we woke up. Either way, we’re all back to Eastern Standard Time.
But more and more people are saying that daylight saving time does more harm than good.
Moving forward an hour in spring leads to more heart attacks and more traffic accidents, according to studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine, as well as more work-related injuries, according to a Michigan State University study.
A 2013 analysis from Chmura Economics & Analytics found that every spring, Americans lose $ 434 million in productivity and medical costs.
Many people think that changing our clocks twice a year is archaic and should be stopped. The question remains: should overtime hours go to morning or evening?
Pennsylvania state lawmakers are offering solutions on both ends.
State Senator Scott Martin (R-Lancaster) thinks Pennsylvania should stay on daylight saving time all the time, which means the evenings would have more light.
Permanent daylight saving time change requires an act of Congress, so Martin introduced legislation that would urge Congress to do just that.
An act of Congress would also ensure uniform weather across the country.
“Does it make sense to have New Jersey a different era than Pennsylvania or different Maryland?” Martin said.
The case for permanent daylight saving time has some basis in supporting mental health, according to Dr. Melissa Brown, clinical manager and psychologist at UPMC.
More light at night promotes the body’s natural production of serotonin, which improves your mood. Darker evenings, on the other hand, stimulate the body’s natural production of melatonin, making you drowsy.
“Now we have no motivation, we are tired all the time and we just want to eat and hibernate,” Brown said.
However, national law from Congress is unlikely to happen anytime soon. State Representative Russ Diamond (R-Lebanon) believes a permanent switch to Eastern Standard Time would be more realistic and pressure other states to follow suit.
“Pennsylvania isn’t called the Keystone State for no reason,” Diamond said. “When Pennsylvania does, other states will be forced to follow simply because of our geographic location.”
Diamond pointed out that standard time also has advantages. This means that the mornings are lighter, so that schoolchildren trying to take the bus are at less risk of accidents. If daylight saving time lasted all winter, some areas would remain dark until about 8:30 a.m.
Arizona and Hawaii are the two states that do not observe daylight saving time. As to whether Pennsylvania will follow, only time will tell.
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