Introduced over a hundred years ago in 1916, the British Summer Time Act was designed to allow people to spend more time outdoors during the day and save energy. However, research suggests that it might no longer be necessary, and may even pose threats to our health.

In 2012, the University of Alabama conducted a study which found a 10% increase in the risk of having a heart attack after the spring clock change, perhaps due to sleep loss caused by the shift forward of an hour.

The hour less of daylight in the evenings as a result of the autumn clock change has also been linked to increased road-side accidents, and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents has advocated for a system of Single/Double Summer Time to be put into place instead. This could reduce pedestrian road casualties, particularly children returning home from school in the evenings, by increasing usable daylight throughout the year. The daylight savings system would be kept, but at GMT+2 in the summer and GMT+1 in the winter, as opposed to GMT+1 in the summer and GMT in the winter, as it is currently.

Other suggestions to keep British Summer Time through the winter were made in 2020, due to the pandemic, to increase the evening daylight and allow customers to support struggling local businesses more, although this wasn’t carried out.

Currently, approximately 80% of the global population doesn’t rely on daylight savings time, and in 2019 the European Parliament voted to abolish the clock change, though this hasn’t been put into place yet to due to delays caused by the pandemic.

The question is, should the UK follow suit?

A survey by YouGov in 2019 showed 38% of people from London thought the UK should stop implementing daylight savings time, while a narrow majority of 41% wanted it to continue. So, according to Londoners, the answer is still no.

Whether you see it as a nuisance or a useful tool, it seems we’ll be adjusting our oven clocks for the foreseeable future.