New study reveals UK Adults are complacent about sun protection

September 2009

New study reveals UK Adults are complacent about sun protection

With summer just ending, many people have enjoyed soaking up the sun. However, research commissioned by Columbia Sportswear, the company that created the innovative Omni-Shade™ line of sun-protective clothing, shows that despite an increase in skin cancer rates in the UK (*1), 39% of Brits have not adopted safer sun behaviours in the last five years. Although 84% of UK adults say they are concerned about the harmful effects of the sun's UV rays, only 16% protect themselves and their families on a daily basis. A quarter of UK adults do not use any sun protection products because they are seen as 'too much hassle'.

Nearly one-fifth of UK adults don't think about sun protection and over a third (37%) are only concerned about UV rays when it is sunny. 86% of Brits think it is only necessary to use sun protection creams on exposed skin when, in fact, UV rays can penetrate most common fabrics and cause long-term damage to clothed skin.

According to GP Dr. Dawn Harper, "It is extremely worrying that Brits are becoming more complacent in the sun, especially as rates of skin cancer have almost doubled in the last decade and continue to rise. It is crucial that the public sits up, listens and adheres to these warnings and fully understands the long-term damaging effects of UV rays."

The research study (*2), showed men are far more complacent than women when it comes to sun protection. 66% of women stated that they take care of their skin in the sun, with one in five (19%) protecting themselves and their families daily. In contrast, only 50% of UK men take care of their skin in the sun and only one of every 10 men (11%) protect themselves and their families daily.

The study also revealed marked differences in behaviour across different regions of the UK. Although people in Brighton expressed the most concern about UV rays, they are actually the fourth worst when it comes to protecting their skin in the sun (Newcastle is the worst offending area). In terms of setting an example on a daily basis, almost a quarter of residents from Sheffield protect themselves as part of their daily routine (24%) compared to less than one-tenth of Cardiff inhabitants (8%).

Cities most concerned with sun protection:

Cities showing no change or less care in the sun:

To make sun protection simple and easy, Columbia has created the Omni-Shade (*3) clothing range which provides 24-hour protection without the need for sun cream. The Omni-Shade range utilizes fabric which blocks, absorbs or reflects UV rays, preventing them from reaching the skin. Omni-Shade fabrics allow people to spend more time in the outdoors reducing the danger of skin damage and leaving them free to enjoy themselves without hassle or worry.

Antti Karava, Director of Marketing at Columbia Sportswear said, "Columbia is synonymous with outdoor activities and year-round weather protection. We have increased our Omni-Shade line for 2009, providing consumers with more styles that protect them from the suns harmful rays and allow them to spend more time enjoying their favourite outdoor pursuits."

About Columbia Sportswear Company:

Founded in 1938 in Portland, Oregon, Columbia Sportswear Company is a global leader in the design, sourcing, marketing and distribution of active outdoor apparel and footwear. As one of the largest outerwear manufacturers in the world and a leading seller of skiwear in the United States, the company has developed an international reputation for quality, performance, functionality and value. The company manages a portfolio of outdoor brands including Columbia Sportswear, Montrail, Mountain Hardwear, Pacific Trail, and Sorel. To learn more about Columbia, please visit the company's website

About The Skin Cancer Foundation:

The Skin Cancer Foundation is the only global organization solely devoted to the prevention, detection and treatment of skin cancer. The mission of the Foundation is to decrease the incidence of skin cancer through public and professional education and research. For more information click here


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