by Nate Wooley | March 12, 2013 11:57 am
How much can switching the clocks forward for daylight savings time cost the country?
According to one report — sponsored by Carpenter Company, which makes fibers for bedding and other products — the loss of sleep can cost the U.S. $434 million, The Chicago Tribune reports.
The switch causes people to lose an hour of sleep, and they are more tired during the days following the change. This can lead to lowered productivity in the workplace, more cyber-surfing at work and even an increase in heart attacks.
“Some researchers found out that when people lose sleep they lose focus and spend more time on the Internet, checking email. So we look at basically the time that could be lost due to those activities, and based on the loss of productivity, we figure out the cost,” said Xiaobing Shuai, senior economist at Chmura Economics & Analytics, which performed the study for Carpenter Company.
The study also found that those with less sleep had more workplace injuries because they were less alert. There also is a chance that added stress could trigger a major health even such as a heart attack.
Not everyone is alarmed, however.
“This may be the most silly ‘cost analysis’ I have ever read. The focus on heart attacks and workplace accidents presumes that adults can’t be alerted to the hazards of sleeplessness and just go to sleep earlier,” says University of Chicago lecturer Grace Tsiang.
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