Think twice before changing the clocks Saga tells Government

Monday 25 October 2010

Think twice before changing the clocks Saga tells Government

Saga is voicing the concerns of today’s over 50s and calling upon the Government to put a stop to turning the clocks back in winter. Two thirds (63%) of over 50s say they support a switch to European time*, to avoid the disruption, isolation and depression that putting the clocks back causes many each year.

A letter from Saga to MPs encouraging them to support a switch to European time points out that 40% of the 13,000 over 50s polled by Saga Motor Insurance**, say they are forced to change their routine as a result of the clocks going back each autumn. They feel forced to spend more time indoors and take less exercise and one in four do not want to drive in the dark. A knock on effect of spending more time indoors is that well over a third (39%) finds that their energy bills rise.

The effect of the clocks changing causes many problems for older citizens, for example:

· Two-thirds go out less in the evenings

· I in 5 (20%) have to rely more on friends and family to take them places

· 13% need to spend out on taxis instead.

Winter blues

These findings are compounded by longer term reactions to the prolonged winter and dark nights as two thirds of people over 50 find their feelings change in winter with almost half (41%) feeling more depressed and a quarter (24%) feel grumpier. Interestingly it is the younger over 50s who feel the effects of winter more, two thirds of people aged 50-54 saying their feelings change, compared to under half of those aged 75 and over.

Ros Altmann, Saga’s director-general said: ”It may come as a surprise to some that people over 50 are calling for a switch to European time. However, taking away the extra hour of daylight robs many of them of their independence. By staying indoors to avoid driving they are being isolated from friends and family, whilst ramping up their spending on energy.

This is why we have today written letters to MPs supporting the Private Members Bill proposed by Rebecca Harris MP to study the effects of advancing time by one hour for all or part of the year.”


Notes to editors:

*research conducted by a Saga Populus Poll of 17,065 people aged 50 and over between 13th and 20th November 2009

** research conducted by a Saga Populus Poll of 12,943 people aged 50+ between the 10th and 17th September 2010

*** research conducted on behalf of Saga by Opinium amongst 2,000 adults between 1st & 3rd July 2009

Other Key research findings

Further affects of putting the clocks back on the over 50s

1. Watching more television (25%)

2. Taking less exercise (20%)

3. Seeing less family and friends (7%)

4. Socialising more at home (5%)

5. Go on social outings less (classes, theatre, cinema etc) (4%)

For more information please contact the Saga Press Office on 01303 771529

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