How Much Sunshine Is Needed For Your Bones? - Save Our Bones

Q: Regarding sunshine and vitamin D… just how much skin needs to be exposed in the 20 minutes a week for the sun’s rays to give you the amount of vitamin D needed?

A: Your question is a very good one indeed. While uncovered skin will absorb the maximum amount of ultraviolet rays, research shows that they pass through some fabrics such as open-weave fabrics, lightweight knits, and nylon stockings. Also, t-shirts worn while swimming allow ultraviolet rays to pass through, and ultraviolet rays even penetrate water, but lose half their intensity.

Fortunately, these rays are very stubborn: they are present on hazy days and bounce off bright surfaces, such as snow, pavement or sand.

So the main thing is to spend a little time outdoors and have fun in the sun.

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Comments on this article are closed.

  1. kmyc

    To make vitamin D you need at least 20 minutes DAILY not weekly: it has to be between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. because only UV B produces vitamin D. And during winter there is no UV B so no vitamin D will be produced . More on

  2. Goldie Peterson

    need some good ideas , i have osteoporosis

  3. Susan

    Now that summer is upon us here in the north, it’s easier to get the recommended exposure to sunshine. However, in the dark days of winter, can the same thing be achieved in a “tanning” bed? (I just heard a collective gasp from every dermatologist I know!)

  4. Elaine

    I have had over 80 skin cancers removed 2 were serious and one sent a cell to my lung necessitating major surgery. Living in Australia with a Celtic type skin is exceptionally dangerous. Fortunately our Health Gurus have recognised this and recommend 10 minutes in the sun unprotected BEFORE U.V. get dangerous that is between the hours of 10am and 4pm during summer. In winter the time is doubled to 20 minutes when available. Light coloured clothing can still allow UV to damage skin. I had two very odd sunburns due to this fact one was when I was wearing a pretty Paisley Shirt and ended up with a burn in a Paisley pattern, The other was a Broderie Anglais burn. In both cases the burns were where the light colours or minute pattern allowed the rays to hit my back. These are the only burns I can recall. There is some concern these days about the health effects of block-out sunscreens in Australia, appropriate clothing and hats seems the safest way to go.

    • Bianca

      Hi Sonya,The best way to know whether you have oroioptsoses is to get tested because it is a silent disease. It doesnb4t normally feel like anything. What you need is a bone densitometry, which doesnb4t hurt or feel. Basically an apparattus moves above you, scanning the density of your bones. Some bones that have been losing calcium may bother a little bit, so if you feel disconfort, it may be useful to get tested.

  5. Shirley Hall

    I have grade IV kidney disease and take hectorol – I thought the kidney problem affected my parathyroid.

  6. Phyllis

    What about sunscreens? Don’t they block the UV rays? We’re told to wear sunscreen every day. I have had skin cancer so I protect my skin.

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