eat 2 a.m. on Sunday morning, clocks around the world moved back one hour to mark the end of daylight saving time in a practice with origins that date back more than a century.
Daylight saving time, which adjusts the weather to make better use of sunlight, runs from March to November. For the remaining four months of the year, the United States is on standard time.
Many are of the opinion that the US should adopt either Standard Time (ST) or Daylight Saving Time (DST) throughout the year.
There has been a bipartisan push to make daylight saving time permanent in the US among lawmakers, with many citing increased health and financial benefits if the biannual clock change does not happen.
Why do we have daylight saving time?
Daylight Saving Time dates back to World War I, United States Department of Transportation (DOT) saysas countries engaged in efforts to better conserve energy and fuel.
Consumerism was also a factor, with the famous Chamber of Commerce in favor of politics as Americans who left work while the lights were still out were more likely to go out shopping in the afternoon, TIME reported earlier. Sports and recreational activities also skyrocketed with more hours of sunshine, leading some to believe it was good for people’s health.
Although the practice was abolished nationally after the war, states were allowed to retain it on a state-by-state basis. This caused transportation-related problems, as local times differed within the same region, and eventually the DOT was given the authority to enforce daylight saving time across the country.
By 1966, the practice was standardized after the passage of the Uniform Time Act, which would see the nation observe daylight saving time for half a year and standard time for another six months. States were given the option to opt in or out. Arizona, for example, is one of two states that opted out because it has plenty of daylight and heat in the summer.
In 2005, the US began observing eight months of daylight saving time, which it still does today.
Why is there a push to keep daylight saving time year-round?
Senator Marco Rubio most recently introduced the Sun Protection Act in March, where it passed unanimously. The bill, which has not yet passed the House of Representatives, would make daylight saving time permanent. It remains stalled in Congress.
This proposed change means people will see more sunsets after 6pm throughout the year, with fewer mornings when the sun rises before 7am. according to WSLS.
In the past few years, state legislatures have considered at least 450 bills that would establish year-round daylight saving time if passed into federal law, The National Conference of State Legislatures established. Another 29 states have enacted year-round daylight saving time legislation.
Studies show that they are changing watch twice a year can increase the risk of seasonal depression, stroke and cardiac arrest. Brookings since 2015 report also found that robberies also decreased by 27% during the afternoon hour, which received slightly more daylight.
A JP Morgan Chase & Co. study from 2016 also found that the end of daylight saving time reduced card spending per capita by 3.5%, indicating strong economic benefits.
“As the sun sets on our sun and we enter a long, dark winter, Congress has a chance to do something almost unheard of since the midterm elections: pass bipartisan legislation,” said Sen. Ed Markey, an original sponsor of the Sun Protection Act, in online statement. “Now that the Senate has voted unanimously to pass the Sun Protection Act, I’m sending rays of support to the House to get this done so Americans don’t suffer in the dark.”
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