We all need vitamin D to develop strong healthy bones. The best form of vitamin D for your body is the UV radiation in sunlight.
Sensible sun protection does not put people at risk of vitamin D deficiency, but there are times when it is actually important to be in the sun without protection.
How much sun is enough for vitamin D production?
For most people, adequate vitamin D levels are reached through regular incidental exposure to the sun.
When the UV Index is 3 or above (August - May in South Australia), the majority of people maintain adequate vitamin D levels just by spending a few minutes outdoors on most days of the week.
Sensible sun protection does not put people at risk of vitamin D deficiency.
In June and July, when the UV Index typically falls below 3 in southern states, we recommend spending time outdoors in the middle of the day with skin uncovered to support vitamin D production. Being physically active e.g. gardening or going for a brisk walk, also helps boost vitamin D levels.
Although most people get enough sunlight to make adequate vitamin D during their day-to-day outdoor activities, there are some groups who may not make enough.
- naturally dark skinned people
- those who cover their skin for religious or cultural reasons
- the elderly
- babies of vitamin D deficient mothers
- people who are housebound or in institutional care.
See your doctor if you are worried about your vitamin D level.
Cancer Council Australia position statement
Cancer Council Victoria