Getting enough sunshine is key to health, being as it’s a prime source of vitamin D, which ultraviolet B radiation helps our bodies generate. It plays a key role in maintaining strong teeth and gums. It’s also crucial in that it protects us against cancers, bone diseases, muscle pain, diabetes, MS and other illness and dysfunction.
But how much is enough?
For a while now, the standard line has been something like 10 to 20 minutes three times a week, but that’s rather inexact. The amount of sunlight needed depends on factors such as an individual’s skin type, the time of day they’re in the sun and geographic location.
But now you can get a more exact reference with this online tool provided by the Norwegian Institute for Air Research.
As you can see, it’s not the prettiest site in the world, but it’s straightforward and functional. All you do is enter a bit of information about the date, location and so forth, and the site will calculate how long an exposure you would need to maintain “healthy vitamin D status.”
A few tips for using the tool:
- For the location, enter the latitude and longitude – info that can be found easily by looking up your town or city on Wikipedia or Weather Underground. Altitude (elevation) can also be found on both these sites.
- If you are unfamiliar with converting from your time zone to UTC (Coordinated Universal Time), you can use the The World Clock conversion tool to do so.
- The default setting for ozone layer thickness – “medium” – should be sufficient for most locations.
- Altitude must be given in kilometers. To convert from feet, you can use onlineconversion.com.