Australians are improving when it comes to being safe in the sun

More Australians are keeping out of the sun and avoiding getting sunburnt than six years ago, according to the latest cancer council research released today.
Nanjing Night Net

Research published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health compared the results of the National Sun protection survey conducted in the summer of 2010-11 with surveys in 2006-07 and three years before. It found that the proportion of adults who wanted a tan fell from jl39 per cent in 2003-04 and 32 per cent in 2006-07 to 27 per cent in 2010-11.

Fewer reported getting sunburnt at the weekend – 18 per cent in 2003-04 compared with 13 per cent in 2010-11.

Similar changes were reported for adolescents with the proportion of young people wanting a tan falling from jl60 per cent in 2003-04 and 51 per cent in 2006-07 to 45 per cent in 2010-11.

Tasmanians followed the national trend with 40 per cent in 2003 liking the idea of a suntan, with only 30 per cent in 2006, and 28 per cent in 2010.

More than 80 per cent of Tasmanians surveyed in 2003 believed that if they protected themselves from the sun they could avoid skin cancer in 2003.

That figure dropped to 79 per cent in 2006 but lifted to 83 per cent in 2010.

There was a “very slight” decrease in the proportion of adults surveyed who stayed mostly in the shade during their main outdoor activity since the 2003-04 survey.

Cancer Council of Australia skin cancer committee chairman Terry Slevin said that, nationally, improved sun protection behaviour (wearing sunscreen and long-sleeve tops) was noted with adults over time, but improvement slowed in recent years.

“One in five adolescents and one in eight adults still report getting sunburnt so while attitudes towards tanning are improving we are still seeing people getting too much sun,” Mr Slevin said.

Launceston tradesman Aaron McBain works outside all day and exercises sun safety, slopping on sunscreen and seeking shade on his breaks. Picture: ZONA BLACK

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