DOI: 10.3390/atmos15020215 ISSN: 2073-4433

UV Exposure during Cycling as a Function of Solar Elevation and Orientation

Philipp Weihs, Sarah Helletzgruber, Sofie Kranewitter, Lara Langer, Zacharias Lumerding, Viktoria Luschin, Philipp Schmidt, Jakob Heydenreich, Alois W. Schmalwieser
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)

Although cycling is the most prevalent means of locomotion in the world, little research has been done in evaluating the ultraviolet (UV) radiation exposure of cyclists. In this study, a volunteer using a men’s bike was equipped with 10 miniature UV-meters at different body sites. Besides erythemally effective irradiance, the ratio of personal UV exposure to ambient UV radiation was determined for solar elevations up to 65°, taking into account different orientations with respect to the sun. This method provides a universal model that allows for the calculation of UV exposure whenever ambient UV radiation and solar elevation are available. Our results show that the most exposed body sites are the back, forearm, upper arm, and anterior thigh, receiving between 50% and 75% of ambient UV radiation on average. For certain orientations, this percentage can reach 105% to 110%. However, the risk of UV overexposure depends on ambient UV radiation. At lower solar elevations (<40°), the risk of UV overexposure clearly decreases.

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