Published on October 23rd, 2015 | by Rob Stebbings
What Time Would You Like To Start Your Working Day?
The clocks go back at 2.00am on 25th October to signal the end of British Summer time (BST) and the return to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).
We will enjoy an extra hour in bed accordingly this weekend but then we will all experience progressively darker mornings and shorter days until we reach the winter solstice on 21st December. On this, the shortest day of the year there will be just seven hours and 40 minutes of sunlight!
Why do the clocks change?
The current system of changing the clocks at the end of March and October has been in place since 1972. The notion of changing the time to introduce Daylight Saving Time was first introduced by William Willett in 1907 with a view to us all becoming earlier risers and being more productive during the working days of the summer months.
Less than a decade later, the Summer Time Act of 1916 was passed by Parliament which confirmed that for a certain period of the year, the legal time would be one hour in advance of GMT. There have been various trials since then including double summer time which was introduced during the Second World War.
Forward more than 100 years and the Daylight Saving Time remains during the summer months but it isn’t universally popular. Indeed a YouGov poll conducted in 2011 found that 53 per cent of Britons supported moving clocks forward permanently while 32 per cent opposed the change.
Does optimum productivity at work mean starting later?
Nine to five is bad for you! – that’s the conclusion of a leading sleep expert who has claimed that forcing people to work these regular office hours leaves our body exhausted and stressed. Instead, it is claimed that a 10am start would be more suitable for most employees.
Sleep deprivation is said to be a condition that many of us regularly suffer from according to Dr Paul Kelley who is a clinical research fellow at Oxford University’s Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute.
It is said that before the age of 55, the circadian rhythms of adults are completely out of sync with the hours most office staff are expected to work between. And the implications can be serious and far reaching including anxiety, high blood pressure and mental health problems.