Exposure to ultraviolet rays is associated with increased risk of sunburn – a biomarker of skin cancer risk – and physical activity can increase exposure. Sun safety behaviors can mitigate the increased risk of skin cancer. The objective of this cross-sectional study was to determine associations between physical activity behaviors, access to neighborhood physical activity resources, and sunburn across different patterning of sun safety behaviors. Data collected in 2014 from parents in the United States were analyzed (N = 1680; 75% female, primarily between the ages of 35–44 and 45–59, and 67% White). Latent class analysis was conducted to identify classes of sun safety behaviors based on engagement in sun protective behaviors (wearing a hat, shirt with sleeves, and seeking shade) and sun exposure (tanning outdoors). The latent classes were then examined as moderators of the association between physical activity related variables and sunburn. Three classes were identified corresponding to Low, Moderate, and High Risk for sunburn. There was no evidence of moderation, so equality constraints were imposed across the classes. Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) (odds ratio [OR] = 1.09) and neighborhood environments favoring physical activity (OR = 1.39) were associated with an increased likelihood of sunburn. Greater engagement in physical activity and access to built environments that favour activity are associated with a higher likelihood of sunburn, regardless of sun safety behaviors. Physically active parents are a vulnerable population for melanoma, and cancer prevention efforts focused on physical activity should also address sun safety.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health