Stay Safe in the Office

 In Health

In this blog post, we’ll explain how UV rays can affect you this winter, even if you are indoors. Despite working in an office, individuals are still at risk of exposure to a powerful type of UV ray that can damage your skin – read on to find out what you can do to protect yourself.

Which UV rays make it through the window?

There are two types of UV rays that reach us here on Earth, and understanding which one can lead to greater harm is important:

  • UVA – Long wavelength, and closer to visible violet light.
  • UVB – Shorter wavelength, and comparable in size to X-rays.

UVB rays are the burning rays of the sun that cause sunburn and skin cancer. These rays are often association with the dangers of sun exposure, and the need to protect yourself from its rays. UVB rays cannot penetrate window glass, however, which is why you can’t get directly sunburnt while sitting near the window in your office. On the other hand, UVA rays – which still age our skin and can contribute to skin cancer – are able to penetrate window glass easily, and can damage your skin without any of the warning signs you notice when exposed to UVB rays outside.

Why is UV exposure an issue in the office?

While some offices will have windows made of glass with full-spectrum UV protection, in all other cases you’ll need to be wary that UVA rays can be present. While they’re far more prevalent during sunny and hot times of the year, these rays can be just as much of an issue in winter. As we can’t distinguish these rays with our eyes, never assume UVA exposure won’t affect you on sunny, but less-warm, winter days.

As such, the level of natural light in the office can be a hard problem for employers to address. On the one hand, UVA rays are a real problem for long-term health. On the other, natural light is promoted as a good thing for employees; it improves their mood, vitality, and mental performance throughout the day.

What could the long-term effects of UV exposure be?

Simply put, exposure to UVA rays in the long term will lead to signs of skin ageing such as wrinkles, and sagging skin on the side of the face predominantly exposed to sunlight. This damage affects our bodies at a low level, and gradually occurs over the years – it’s rare that you’ll see the effects of UVA-ray damage early in life. Chronic exposure to UVA is estimated to accelerate skin ageing by five to seven years, so clearly it’s important to keep yourself away from direct sunlight, even when sitting inside your office, and especially in winter!

If you’re worried about skin cancer, or any other effect the sun might have had on your skin, contacting Claris Group for a comprehensive, full-body skin check or mole scanning session could put your mind at ease. The expert skin doctors at Claris Group know everything there is about your skin and the effects of the sun, so contact us now to book your session!

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