Follow us on Twitter @AJCBiz
Springing forward an hour this Sunday may cost metro Atlantans more than an hour of sleep.
SleepBetter.org has come up with its first “Lost–Hour Economic Index,” which attempts to put a price tag on the hour lost to Daylight Saving Time and the problems from fatigue and sluggishness. Researchers estimate metro Atlanta will face about $7.5 million, or $1.39 per-capita, in costs due to injuries and lost productivity.
The index was created by Chmura Economics & Analytics for SleepBetter, a website the provides information on, you guessed it, sleep.
To come up with its findings, Chmura relied on a 2008 study from The New England Journal of Medicine, which found a 5 percent increase in heart attacks; a 2009 study from The Journal of Applied Psychology, which found a nearly 6 percent increase in construction and mining injuries; and a 2012 Journal of Applied Psychology study that found a 3 percent increase in cyberloafing on the Monday following the time switch, according to Xiaobing Shuai one of the lead economists for the Chmura study.
Researchers then estimated the economic cost per capita in 360 metropolitan areas, using 2010 population figures. Metro Atlanta ranked No. 312.
Treating heart attacks in metro Atlanta will cost about $6.7 million; employees’ surfing the web on company time will cost about $782,160 in lost productivity; and accidents in construction and mining will cost only about $2,100 to treat (there is not a lot of mining here, and construction only just recently started picking up).
Of course the costs are probably much higher because other areas are not included in the study, such as auto accidents or injuries in other areas, such as manufacturing.
Nationally, the lost hour will cost the nation about $434 million, or $1.65 per capita, the index found.
“While we may appreciate the extra hour of daylight that comes with moving our clocks ahead, this study provides a prudent reminder that it’s a good idea to try to make up for that missing hour of sleep elsewhere,” said Dan Schecter of Carpenter Co., a foam products company and parent of SleepBetter.org.
What do you plan to do to get back that lost hour Sunday?