Friday, 29 October 2010

Do we want more Daylight in the Winter?

daylight-designA new article published in the British Medical Journal has made the case for not putting the clocks back this weekend, as being beneficial to the British Public's health.

Written by Dr Mayer Hillman, a public policy specialist, the piece suggests that the extra hours of daylight would offer more time for exercise during the Winter months. It would also have a positive effect on the Nation's general mood, as well as more serious psychological complaints, such as depression and anxiety.

Dr Hillman raises the point as a relatively easy way to dramatically improve the entire country's health and well being all at once, citing various studies to support his argument. The Doctor also claims that the majority of the populace would be in favour of the move, about four for every one against.

In the modern era of the Big Society, where all aspects of the country are jointly responsible for it's running, should this not then be strongly considered? It's certainly a radical move, but one that as Dr Hillman suggests, would actually have a surprisingly small financial and administrative cost to implement.  With the current financial restraints, a simple change like this could get a lot more 'bang for your buck' than a multitude of national  Social Marketing campaigns.

But before such a change could occur, the Public would need consulting. As mentioned above, we're all now supposedly jointly responsible, so need to be involved in the decision making process. Difficult times often call for left field ideas, but before they get serious enough to warrant mentions in Parliament or referendums, Public opinion needs gauging. In the past this would be an expensive and difficult task, but now we're in the age of Social Media, it's far cheaper and easier to engage the Public and get a solid impression of their thoughts.

If the Big Society is to involve the Public, Social Media does offer the tools to create national forums for discussion and opinion, the likes of which haven't been anywhere near possible before. All  it takes is for someone to realize that opportunity fully and for those in power to pay attention when they do.

No comments:

Post a Comment