Lawler et al. (2007) studied the sun protection behaviors of sports oriented young adults in accordance with their sun exposures. This research will be helpful as skin cancer is increasing especially in the Australian region (p. 230). There is an increased possibility of acquiring skin cancer in one’s later years if an individual had a frequent sun exposure in his/her young adult age. Being actively engaged in certain sports is a major factor for habitual exposure to the sun (p. 230). Higher rates of basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma were observed in the year 2001-2002.
In a recent longitudinal study in 1993-1997, young adults were reported to have increased their sun exposure, but not their sun protection. Moreover, using objective measure technique, past researches discovered that elite athletes exceeded their sun exposure limits. A recent study also observed that 85% of college athletes don’t wear sunscreens even after a week of doing sports under the sun. Young men and women, 237 in number, aged 18-30 years old were contacted though the online yellow pages by using convenience sampling techniques.
They were actively participating in four outdoor sports namely: hockey, tennis, soccer, and surf lifesaving. 20 paged, self-administered surveys were completed by the young competitors. The survey was based on previous measures that were published regarding sun protective behaviors and exposures (p. 231). Moreover, with items based on previous studies, the researchers measured the history of sunburn and sun protective measures namely: types of clothing worn, hats and shades worn, and application of sunscreen.
Data were analyzed using SPSS version on 13. 0 for Windows. These revealed basic descriptive analysis on gender, skin type, and skin reactions. The sun protective behaviors were analyzed using chi-square. Results may not be 100% reliable because only participants for the most recent sports competition were included in the study, there were only four kinds of sports observed, and there were more female participants. The study revealed that almost half of the participants experienced sun burn with the surf sports participants being the most burnt.
Hockey participants reported to have the least amount of sun exposure. Surf participants were observed to have the highest rates of sunscreen use and reapplication. As with previous studies, soccer and hockey players revealed that women applied more sunscreen than men; but this may not be accurate with other sports (p. 234) Tennis and surf lifesaving participants were reported to have greater tendencies to wear hats. Longer sun exposure and less clothing requirements in sports pose increased risks for skin cancer development.
This study helps the cancer association by encouraging health promotions among young, sports oriented persons to decrease their sun exposure while increasing their physical activities. This case cries out for the improvement of certain approaches to sun protection in events regarding outdoor sports, especially with participating young adults. This may be done by a number of strategies like arranging game schedules and changing uniform rules. The study poses a significant help with the case of the next generation’s health and for the betterment of this topic’s future researches.