Tuesday, June 28, 2011

How Much Sun Is Enough?

The Straight Dope explains sunscreen, sunlight, vitamin D. Short version:

“The media makes this subject appear complicated but the solution simply is not. We should get outside during the middle of the day on sunny days whenever we can. Not for long; a stroll through the park at lunch on a sunny day is likely plenty of exposure as long as you’re not completely covered up (the AMA recommends 15 minutes of exposure a ‘few times’ per week). You don’t need to be in a bathing suit but wearing shorts and jogging around the park on occasion wouldn’t hurt.”


“Trying to get too involved in the numbers of this subject will just confuse you. ‘Nobody really knows how much sunlight you need for optimal vitamin D synthesis versus too much sunlight,’ say Jean Tang, dermatologist and lead author of a government study that followed 36,000 women ages 50 to 79 for an average of seven years. And if someone like Tang doesn’t know the math, there’s no reason for you bother with it either.”

(I took this photo of my regular climbing friends last week at the beach. Notice, they are all wearing red.)

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