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 Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?
31.05.2017 | University of Washington

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

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: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Touch Displays WAY-AX and WAY-DX by WayCon

27.06.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Drones that drive

27.06.2017 | Information Technology

Ultra-compact phase modulators based on graphene plasmons

27.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>