Sun Safety and Physical Activity

Category: Skin Health

Topic: Sun Safety

Sport and recreation is vitally important to people's health and wellbeing, but it’s just as important for people of all ages to be sun safe when enjoying outdoor sporting activities. Due to Australia’s high incidence of skin cancer, sport and recreation organisations should encourage sun safety and provide shade for officials, players and spectators all year round.

You can actively advocate for sun protection by supporting your sporting organisation to:

  • purchase, install and maintain shade
  • schedule training and game/activity times for the early morning or late afternoon
  • encourage clothing for uniforms that offers maximum sun protection
  • include a sun protective hat as part of the uniform
  • encourage the wearing of sunglasses while off-field
  • encourage the use of sunscreen.

You can also be a positive role model and be sun safe yourself:

  • look for venues that offer shade, or take your own shade (like an umbrella or tent) to sporting matches and activities
  • plan your training for times in the early morning or late afternoon
  • dress yourself in sun protective clothing before you go outside
  • wear a sun protective hat
  • wear sunglasses
  • apply sunscreen before you go outside, and to reapply at least every two hours.

Practical Advice

Individuals and organisations need to consider the time of day that sports, training and other outdoor activities are scheduled. Early morning or late afternoon are best in Queensland all year round. Providing shade is important for players and spectators, where possible. Protective clothing, hats, sunglasses and sunscreen should be included in the protective equipment for the sport/activity.

A sporting organisation with a written and implemented sun safe policy shows a commitment to sun protection. The Cancer Council Queensland has produced guidelines for sporting organisations to follow in developing a sun safe policy.