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Call to change time for improved children’s health

Moving the clocks forward would give children an extra 200 hours of daylight each year, providing extra opportunities for them to be active outdoors, a new study claims.

Recent research from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine indicates that the health of children would be improved by moving clocks forward by an hour.

Although the time spent on physical activity would only increase by two minutes a day, the study has shown that it would have a huge impact on the levels of children’s activity.
Around 23,000 children who were aged between five years old and 16 took part in the study, hailing from Madeira in Portugal, Brazil, Denmark, Switzerland, Estonia, Australia, the US, Norway, and England. Electronic devices were placed on the children to measure body movement. According to the data, children’s activity levels are increased by 20% during summer, when it remains light until around 9pm, in comparison to winter when it is dark before 5pm.

According to Dr Anna Goodman, the lead researcher on the study, longer daylight hours in Australia and Europe play an important role in increasing the physical activity levels of children. She said:

“Introducing additional daylight savings measures would affect each and every child in the country, every day of the year, giving it a far greater reach than most other potential policy initiatives to improve public health.”

Until the laws are changed regarding the moving forward of clocks, schools in the UK can help students by offering healthy tuckshop food. Teesside is just one region that encourages increased physical activity and a nutritious diet.

Posted by Susan
October 26, 2014

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