In the last couple of years there has been a lot in the media about vitamin D deficiency in Australia. I found a lot of it confusing because it was even hard to find out how much vitamin D we need to be healthy.  And I bet I wasn’t the only one who was confused by all this.

As outdoor workers most of us will find the issue of getting too much sun a bigger problem than getting enough vitamin D, but I guess it is good to have an understanding of what is known so we can make sure we are looking after ourselves.   After all, vitamin D is important to remain healthy, and for most people we only get a little bit from the food we eat, and the rest really comes from the sun.

Talking to the experts, it seems that the best advice for the general public is to get out in the sun and expose our skin, but only when the UV is under 3. Apparently when the UV is 0-2 it is not strong enough to actually damage our skin, making these times the best periods to boost vitamin D levels. But this is not the same advice for outdoor workers.

It seems as outdoor workers we generally get more than enough sun, in fact in most cases we get too much sun. Our greater problem is with skin cancer risk rather than being vitamin D deficient.  So the advice for us is a little different than for everyone else.

The experts are saying that outdoor workers should use sun protection whenever outdoors, regardless of the UV level, and that should be enough to keep our vitamin D levels tip top year round, but more importantly it reduces our risk of skin cancer.

The reality is that most of us get sufficient vitamin D through our day to day exposure however the experts also said that if you are not sure if you are getting enough vitamin D, then the best thing to do is talk to your doctor about it. They can do a test which will let you know if you are on target or not.  This seems good advice to me, because we are all different, and we should be listening to the people who have the answers, rather than believing everything we hear in the media.