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Daylight saving leads to less sleep and more injuries

22-03-2012

Daylight savings was first implemented in 1895 by an American and has been adopted by many countries across the world. It is an extremely divisive practice, with many people praising it while others are extremely critical. While adding extra hours of daylight is beneficial to agriculture, commerce and leisure, it can have adverse health effects.

Recent research into the consequences of daylight savings on workplace safety found that losing an hour of sleep has quite a large impact on accidents and injuries in the workplace. The study looked at workplace accidents and injuries from 1983 through to 2006 across America and found that there was 3.6 times more injuries and accidents in the days after the switch than normal.

This study shows how even one less hour of sleep can have dramatic consequences at both an individual level and at a social level. If a whole nation misses an hour of sleep, as they do when the switch to daylight savings hours is made, then there is a massive increase in accidents and injuries in the workplace. While data for non-workplace incidents is harder to get, it is likely that this same increase occurs across the board, meaning that accidents at home and on the road probably increase as well.


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