FRIDAY, Oct. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Not turning the clocks back
an hour in the fall would offer a simple way to improve people's
health and well-being, according to an English expert.
Keeping the time the same would increase the number of
"accessible" daylight hours during the fall and winter and
encourage more outdoor physical activity, according to Mayer
Hillman, a senior fellow emeritus at the Policy Studies Institute
He estimated that eliminating the time change would provide
"about 300 additional hours of daylight for adults each year and
200 more for children."
Previous research has shown that people feel happier, more
energetic and have lower rates of illness in the longer and
brighter days of summer, while people's moods tend to decline
during the shorter, duller days of winter, Hillman explained in his
report, published online Oct. 29 in
This proposal "is an effective, practical and remarkably easily
managed way of achieving a better alignment of our waking hours
with the available daylight during the year," he pointed out in a
news release from the journal's publisher.
Another expert, Dr. Robert E. Graham, an internist at Lenox Hill
Hospital in New York City, said that he totally agrees with
"Lessons learned by the explosion of research on the benefits of vitamin D add to the argument for 'not putting the clocks back.' Basic biochemistry has proved to us that sunlight helps your body convert a form of cholesterol that is present in your skin into vitamin D. Additionally, several epidemiological studies have documented the seasonality of depression and other mood disorders," Graham stated.
"As a society we are always looking for 'accessible, low cost, little-to-no harm interventions.' By increasing the number of 'accessible' daylight hours we may have found the perfect intervention, definitely a 'bright' idea to consider," he added.
The shorter days of fall and winter can cause some people to
seasonal affective disorder.