Postal workers' occupational and leisure-time sun safety behaviors (United States)

Cancer Causes Control. 2006 Mar;17(2):181-6. doi: 10.1007/s10552-005-0482-4.


Objectives: United States Postal Service letter carriers are exposed to long bouts of UVR and thus are vulnerable to skin cancer. While previous studies have shown that occupational sun protection is often deficient, few studies have examined outdoor workers' behavior during leisure time.

Methods: Subjects (n = 2,660) self-reported widebrim hat and sunscreen use over the past five workdays and past two non-working days using Likert-type scales. Generalized linear mixed models and generalized estimating equations were used to compare hat and sunscreen rates and predictors during occupational and leisure time.

Results: On average, carriers spent 3.9 h outside during workdays and 3.3 h during non-working days. Sunscreen and widebrim hat use during the workday is low and rates of use are significantly lower during non-working days.

Conclusions: Sun safety interventions for carriers should encourage sun protection at all times when outdoors.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Environmental Exposure / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Leisure Activities
  • Male
  • Occupational Exposure / prevention & control
  • Postal Service*
  • Protective Clothing
  • Skin Neoplasms / etiology
  • Skin Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Sunscreening Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Ultraviolet Rays / adverse effects
  • Work


  • Sunscreening Agents