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Ditch the switch? Czechs want to get rid of seasonal clock changes: Poll

Czechs want to stop changing their clocks twice a year.

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: Czech News Agency

According to a new STEM/MARK poll, 65 percent of Czechs want to stop the biannual seasonal clock changes. Despite a desire to end the practice, espondents could not agree on which of the two times should be canceled

The poll comes on the heels of a European Parliament vote to end the twice-a-year custom by 2021, but EU national governments must still give their consent for it to pass

The new EU proposal allows each EU member state to decide whether they want “permanent winter” or “permanent summer” time.

Last year, the Czech government authorized the introduction of permanent winter time all year-round. However, Czech officials say they must still coordinate with EU member states before making a final decision. 

According to the Czech Fund economist Lukáš Kovanda, studies show that every year daylight savings time generates electricity savings of 0.14 percent in the Czech Republic, which saves about CZK 50 million (€2 million). However, Kovanda says that these savings come at a serious cost.

“Especially after the clock change in summer, the statistics show more heart attacks, more traffic accidents, and other negative social consequences,” he says. Despite the cost savings on electricity, research shows that daylight saving time has a serious impact on society, a major factor why governments are taking action to put an end to the practice.

Alena Sumová, from the Institute of Physiology of the Czech Academy of Sciences, also considers daylight saving to be problematic. According to her, people often struggle to adjust to losing an hour of sleep, even if most of them adapt after a few days.

When choosing a year-round time, she would opt for permanent winter, which for the Czechs would be Central European Time. According to studies, it improves sleep quality, is healthier for the human heart, and has a positive effect on body weight. Conversely, choosing permanent summertime throughout the year would hurt human biorhythms and negatively impact health.

The STEM/MARK poll also shows that most Czechs are not fans of daylight saving time, with respondents indicating it was difficult to adjust to the new time. However, people in the poll did not agree on which of the two seasonal times should be introduced as a permanent year-round time. A quarter of the respondents prefer permanent winter while 44 percent support permanent summer time.