Time Will Tell If Iceland Changes Its Clocks - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Time Will Tell If Iceland Changes Its Clocks

Published September 26, 2018

Andie Fontaine
Photos by
HMH

Iceland has not changed its clocks since 1968, but now the government is examining whether they ought to start, Fréttablaðið reports.

Last January, a workgroup under the auspices of the Ministry of Health handed in a report to the Minister of Health on the subject of Icelandic time. Their conclusion is that the current arrangement, whereby Iceland follows Greenwich Mean Time, has numerous negative effects on people’s health, mostly attributed to how far to the west of the Greenwich line Iceland is. These effects include the increased chance of disease, worse schooling results, increased depression and tiredness.

However, the group did not specifically recommend changing the clocks in the winter and summer as a possible solution; rather, the implication is that Iceland move its time zone to something more in keeping with the actual position of the sun over the country.

After some initial confusion as to which ministry ought to be working on the matter, the workgroup’s memo eventually fell upon the Prime Minister’s office.

A proposal to change the clocks in Iceland has been submitted before, without success. While there is support for the bill on the left and the right, especially with the support of recent scientific research on the subject of the effect of time on health, Iceland’s business and sports industries have given strong resistance.

It is expected that it will not be until the 2019-2020 parliamentary session that it will become more clear whether the matter will be taken to a legislative stage or not.


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