The sun-kissed myth that’s affecting your health and how to combat it.

You might not be ready to hear this but everything you’ve been told about the sun during your childhood , much like the Tooth Fairy and the ice-cream shop being closed, is a lie.

We’ve always been warned about the danger of the sun’s harmful rays, and rightly so, but it seems as if we’ve taken these warnings a little too far.

New research has raised concerns that overworked Australians could be compromising their health by working excess hours, skipping lunch breaks and remaining indoors all day with limited exposure to sunlight. Currently, more than half the Australian workforce, around 55 per cent, remain completely indoors all day with minimal exposure to sunlight. For one in five, they’re simply too busy during the work day to get outside.

The research, conducted by Ostelin, also revealed that close to a third of the workforce regularly skip lunch breaks or eat at their desk and  expectation and work pressures are the key reasons they don’t get outside. Underpinning the issue, one in eight consider their workplace to be constantly ‘overworked and under-staffed’. Added to our desk-bound work culture, Australians are now living, working and playing almost completely indoors during winter

The sun wants to get to know you better

The sun wants to get to know you better

In fact, almost half the population spend an additional 70 hours a week indoors commuting, exercising, running errands and socialising, with 7 per cent of hibernating Aussies completely devoid of any outdoor activity during the winter months. Experts warn this increasingly indoor lifestyle may have considerable health consequences due to lack of Vitamin D, a nutrient sourced mostly from the sun and essential for bone health and muscle function.

The warnings come in the lead up to today’s second annual National Vitamin D Awareness Day, held on the eve of the shortest day of the year when sunlight is most limited and the Vitamin D health message is most important. The national health initiative calls for Australians to ‘Take a D-Break’; that is, to simply step outside during the workday to get the required dose of daily sunlight for optimal health and strong bones. The premise is that a ‘DBreak’ today can help prevent a bone break tomorrow.

Vitamin D plays an essential role in the body’s calcium absorption which is critical for bone health and muscle function. Sufficient Vitamin D also helps prevent musculoskeletal conditions such as osteoporosis.