Not summertime, not wintertime, but healthtime!

That is, our own natural Western European time zone for Western Europe:

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RIVM conclusions

On October 15th 2019, the Dutch Royal Institute For Public Health and Environment (RIVM) clearly concludes in its report 'Standard time, summer time and health' (now available in English translation, the abstract also in French and German) that:

Clock changes are unhealthy

According to the RIVM, standard time (UTC + 1) is better for public health than "summer time" (UTC + 2) and it would be even better if the Netherlands used its own geographical time zone (UTC).

➡️ This RIVM advice corresponds with the conclusions of our position paper, in which we explain why abolishing DST-changes and switching to our own time zone is also a win-win solution for the rest of Western Europe.

❓What exactly is ‘summertime’, 'wintertime’ and Daylight Saving Time (DST)?

❓What are bi-annual clock changes, seasonal changes of time and time zones?

❓How and why does all this have such a big impact on our health, safety and well-being?

We explain all this and more in our position paper 'Timing is everything', also available in French, Spanish and Dutch and downloadable from the sidebar to the right or below.

➡️ You can check out the table of contents below, as well as a list of interesting sources - articles and research links from our paper's references.

About us

Choose Gezondtijd! ('Health time!' - a Dutch play on words referring to 'gezondheid' = health and 'tijd' = time) is a collaboration between several advocates for a healthier time policy in the Netherlands: Better Times Platform (formerly B-Society NL), Standard time and Stop the summertime, the clock has to turn back (which set up the petition and presented it to the EC in 2017). We joined forces in response to the EU proposal 'European directive on discontinuing seasonal changes of time', in order to draw attention to the new scientific insights into this complex issue and its broad social impact.

We were invited to the various DST expert sessions that the Ministry of the Interior (BZK) held from October 2018 to June 2019. On August 15th 2019 we presented and explained our position paper 'Timing is everything’ to BZK officials. They forwarded our paper for notification to the Royal Institute For Public Health and Environment (RIVM) and the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports (VWS). 

The authors of the position paper are Conny Bergé and Ticia Luengo Hendriks of Platform Betere Tijden. The content of this paper is based on the latest scientific knowledge and has been fact checked by chronobiologist, light and sleep researcher Dr. Marijke Gordijn.

'Timing is everything'

Table of contents:

Purpose of this paper
1. Motivation 
1a - European directive on discontinuing seasonal changes of time
1b - State of affairs in the Netherlands
2. Context
2a - Origin of time zones and standard times
2b - Origin of bi-annual clock changes / DST
2c - The biological clock and rhythms
2d - The importance of sleep
2e - Chronotypes
2f - Social jetlag and time zones
2g - The importance of light
3. Social consequences
3a - Health
3b - Work
3c - Education
3d - Traffic and transport
3e - Safety
3f - Energy and environment
3g - Finance and economy 
4. Conclusions
- High time for a Time policy!
- Dutch best option
- European best option
- References
- About the authors
- Version control


Here you will find a selection of interesting articles and research used for our position paper.In our position paper we explain these topics and how they are related to each other.

Government resources

  • Standard time, summertime and health - Report by the RIVM (Dutch Royal Institute For Public Health and Environment), as commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, 15-11-2019

Scientific statements






Nature and the environment

Recommended books

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