Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

When clocks are set forward, life satisfaction declines

26.03.2015

According to a recent study based on data from the SOEP and the UK study Understanding Society, people’s life satisfaction declines when they lose an hour to daylight savings time.

“Especially parents of young children suffer when daylight savings time begins,” says Daniel Kühnle from the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, one of the study’s two authors. Setting clocks back again in the fall has no measurable effects on satisfaction. The study has just been published as SOEPpaper 744.

Daylight savings time was introduced in 1916. In a speech honoring William Willet of proposing the idea of daylight savings time in the UK, Winston Churchill said that the effect of this measure has been to “enlarge the opportunities for the pursuit of health and happiness among the millions of people who live in this country.”

This came at a price, however, according to data on Germany from the Socio-Economic Panel and on the UK from Understanding Society (formerly the British Household Panel). Estimates by the study’s authors Daniel Kühnle and Christoph Wunder show that in both countries, respondents’ life satisfaction declines the week after the start of daylight savings time.

The decline is especially pronounced among parents of young children. The second week after losing an hour to daylight savings, life satisfaction returns to its original levels. For Germany, this means that household income would have to rise by around 10 percent in the first week after the start of daylight savings to compensate for the estimated decline in satisfaction.

The authors explain the temporary decline in satisfaction not only through the physical adaptation to a new daily rhythm. “People experience it as a strain when they lose free time,” says one of the study’s authors, Daniel Kühnle. “This is especially true of parents, who have little time to themselves as it is.”

The researchers do not argue for eliminating daylight savings time, however. They suggest “making up” for the lost hour by giving people more freedom to decide how to allocate their time. “One possibility would be to make working hours more flexible the week when clocks are set forward,” says Daniel Kühnle.

For their representative study on Germany and the UK, Kühnle and Wunder used data on 29,653 male and female SOEP respondents from 1984 to 2004, and 8,950 Understanding Society respondents from 2009 to 2012. The study used data collected from respondents two weeks before and two weeks after the beginning and end of daylight savings time.

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.diw.de/sixcms/detail.php?id=diw_01.c.499126.de - SOEPpaper: Kuehnle, Daniel and Christoph Wunder (2015): Using the life satisfaction approach to value daylight savings time transitions. Evidence from Britain and Germany. SOEPpaper Nr. 744, Berlin.

Monika Wimmer | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht A sudden drop in outdoor temperature increases the risk of respiratory infections
11.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg

nachricht Urbanization to convert 300,000 km2 of prime croplands
27.12.2016 | Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) gGmbH

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

Im Focus: Bacterial Pac Man molecule snaps at sugar

Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.

The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Water - as the underlying driver of the Earth’s carbon cycle

17.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

17.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Smart homes will “LISTEN” to your voice

17.01.2017 | Architecture and Construction

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>