It is a common belief that, if we want to limit our sun exposure during outdoor recreational activities and holidays in order to avoid sunburn or reduce our risk of skin cancer, we need to reach for the bottle of sunscreen or cover up with clothing. As important as these measures are, there is another way to enjoy our time outdoors and still benefit from the experience. In this article, we consider the impact of time, place, and behaviour outdoors on our exposure to solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Some of the simple actions we can take in controlling our UV exposure include being aware of the position of the sun in the sky, understanding how we can use the UV index to guide our outdoor exposure, and the importance of reducing our sun exposure around the middle of the day. Finally we review our preferred holiday activities and destinations, and the influence of outdoor leisure pursuits. By planning where and when we spend our leisure time in the sun, we can maximise our enjoyment whilst limiting our UV exposure.
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