Sunburn ranks as the top summer health concern in Wisconsin and the nation, according to the Quarterly Health of Wisconsin Report, published Tuesday by Aurora Health Care.
Aurora’s report determined that nearly one in three Wisconsin residents noted sunburn as their top summer health concern, with just over one in four overall Americans in agreement. Despite the concern, national respondents are more likely (30 percent) to always use sunscreen, compared to only one in four Wisconsinites.
“Protecting your skin from the sun throughout the year is important, more so during the summer months when the sun is most intense,” said Dr. Anna Juern, dermatologist with Aurora Health Care. “Melanoma rates have doubled over the last three decades, and helping people understand that skin cancer is a real concern is important. It’s reassuring that people are aware of the need to protect their skin from UV rays, but based on our study’s findings, we’d like to see more Wisconsinites actually use sun protection—especially sunscreen—when they’re outside.”
The most common type of sunscreen respondents use is between 30 and 50 SPF, according to the study. The American Academy of Dermatologists recommends products with an SPF level of at least 30 for best protection.
Aurora’s study also revealed that Wisconsin residents plan to be more active than the average American this summer. Fifty-five percent of Wisconsin residents plan to participate in summer sports this year, compared to 49 percent of all Americans.
On average, respondents plan to spend between four and five hours per week on sports activities. Cycling (22 percent), swimming (21 percent), walking or running in 5K-type events (19 percent) and golf (16 percent) topped the list of activities Wisconsin residents plan to do this summer.
Injuries are also common in the summer months, and the Quarterly Health of Wisconsin Report found that one in four respondents both nationally and in Wisconsin have experienced a summer-related injury, with sprains and muscle pulls being the most common.
“It’s great to see so many people outside during the summer months, but it’s important that people know their body and take proper precaution to avoid injuries,” said Dr. Mark Wichman, orthopedic surgeon with Aurora Health Care and team physician for the Milwaukee Admirals. “Stretching and exercising within your limits is important, and giving an injury proper healing time and therapy is essential.”
The Aurora Health Care Quarterly Health of Wisconsin Report is administered by Research Now, an independent third-party research firm. The poll measures the sentiments of some 1,500 adults ages 18 and older across Wisconsin and the United States on health-related topics.