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An overview analysis of the time people spend outdoors – Dec 2010

Br J Dermatol. 2010 Dec 3. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.2010.10165.x.
Diffey BL.
Dermatological Sciences, Institute of Cellular Medicine, University of Newcastle NE2 4HH, UK.

Background ? An important factor in determining our exposure to sunlight, and the consequent impact on skin health and vitamin D status, is the time we spend outdoors.

Objectives? To determine estimates of the typical times per day spent outdoors during weekdays, weekends and holidays during a summer season.

Methods? A number of published studies giving data on the time per day spent outdoors by people were reviewed and a meta-analysis performed. From these data summary estimates of average time per day outdoors were extracted.

Results? Time spent per day outdoors during weekdays and weekends is positively skewed, with a normal distribution of times outdoors during holidays. The median times per day outdoors during weekdays and weekends gave pooled estimates of 1.04 h and 1.64 h, respectively. Corresponding values for the pooled estimates of mean times outdoors during these two periods were 1.43 h and 2.38 h. The mean time per day outdoors during holiday exposure is 5 to 6 h.

Conclusions? Summer-long distribution of times spent outdoors on a daily basis exhibits a highly-skewed nature that highlights the difference between our adventitious and recreational exposure. Over the course of a summer season, when people are outside, they spend on average of 1 to 2 hours per day outdoors.
Copyright © 2010 British Association of Dermatologists. PMID: 21128911
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