Now that summer is coming, and sunnier days are ahead, thinking about protection from the sun is especially important for people who engage in a lot of outdoor activity including outdoor athletes.
Many people experience excessive UV exposure and perhaps athletes in particular. Reasons identified by researchers Jinna and Adams (2013) published in Sports Medicine to explain intense UV exposure include not using sunscreen, not covering skin with clothing, UV radiation as reflected by either water or snow, UV radiation changes due to altitude, sweat induced skin photosensitivity, time outside from childhood, time outside during high UV radiation periods.
Preventive strategies for protection from sun during outdoor activity are numerous and include:
- Avoiding peak UV exposure
- Using sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher
- Wearing sunglasses when possible
- Wearing hats and other protective clothing (long sleeves, pants) to cut down on UV exposure.
Sometimes, however, the competitive rules of a given sport serve as barriers to UV prevention and protection from sun during outdoor activity.
Researchers conclude that educational programs focusing on practices around sun safety are effective in encouraging athletes to engage in preventive behaviors. Learn more about the latest research on protection from sun during outdoor activities.