Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Sluggish Mornings

On Sunday morning we shifted into Daylight Savings Time. On Monday morning, we observed sluggish Lasell students trying to make it to their class. While the end of Daylight Savings Time is celebrated like a holiday by college students across the country, the spring forward event is greeted with resentment.

Daylight Savings Time is often cited as a policy to save energy. However, the data supporting this theory is inconclusive. It is interesting to learn why Daylight Savings Time was first proposed by William Willett in London. Willett's motivation was not to minimize candle use or increase retail sales. Rather, he was a golfer and annoyed that his afternoon round was cut short at dusk. This really gets students going when they discover they lose an hour of sleep because a guy wanted to play more golf.

But I am with Willett on this one. Living on the east side of a time zone and in the midlatitudes means the sunlight available in the early evening is limited. Compare Massachussetts to western Michigan. While the sun may set here at 8, a city in Michigan will get almost an hour more of evening because they are on the western side of the time zone. Similarly, we can compare Massachusetts to Florida in early April. Florida has much longer evenings of light during this time.

Personally, I love the adjustment of our time. It provides more opportunities to get outside. I can go for a walk safely after work. I can go running, ride my bike and even play golf. It definitely benefits Americans living in the northern parts of our country and on the eastern parts of time zones. Let's keep springing that clock forward and encourage Americans to get outdoors, exercise, and enjoy nature!

No comments: