The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation is both the major cause of skin cancer and the best source of vitamin D. In Australia, we need to balance the risk of skin cancer from too much sun exposure with maintaining adequate vitamin D levels. Sensible sun protection does not put people at risk of vitamin D
What is vitamin D?
Vitamin D forms in the skin when it is exposed to UV from sunlight. It can also be obtained from some foods. We need vitamin D to maintain good health and to keep bones and muscles strong and healthy.
How much sun do we need for healthy bones?
The best source of vitamin D is UVB radiation from the sun. UV radiation levels vary depending on location, time of year, time of day, cloud coverage and the environment.For most people, adequate vitamin D levels are reached through regular incidental exposure to the sun. When the UV Index is 3 or above (such as during summer), most people maintain adequate vitamin D levels just by spending a few minutes outdoors on most days of the week.In late autumn and winter in some southern parts of Australia, when the UV Index falls below 3, spend time outdoors in the middle of the day with some skin uncovered. Being physically active (e.g. gardening or going for a brisk walk) also helps boost vitamin D levels.
(Abstract from Cancel Council Australia)