Whether sitting by the Turtle Pond or strolling around campus with a friend, spending just 15 minutes outside helps us feel connected to our environment, boosts our creative mind and allows us to discover something new about campus.
UT Austin students enjoy many outdoor activities year-round while protecting their skin and acclimating to the Texas heat. In fact, 91% of students say that they stay in the shade when they are outdoors as a way of protecting against ultraviolet rays (NCHA, 2021).
Longhorns Under the Sun invites members of the community to explore all the ways to stay safer in the sun while enjoying outdoor activities.
Plan the Timing of Your Activities
The sun is the strongest from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. regardless of cloud coverage. Plan activities in the morning or late afternoon to avoid the sunniest and hottest parts of the day. Additionally, limit time outside and take breaks by going indoors to cool down. Drinking water, using a cold compress or resting can all help bring down your temperature.
Choose Loose Fitting and Comfortable Clothing
Cover exposed areas of skin with clothing. Wearing long sleeves when it is hot outside can be hard, so choose loose fitting comfortable clothes.
Seek Shade or Bring Your Own
When studying outside or having afternoon lunch with a friend, sit under a tree or overhang. Any physical structure that helps shelter from direct sunlight is optimal. Use an umbrella when walking to class to protect the top of your head. Concrete can also reflect sunlight even when it’s in the shade, so be sure to use other strategies in combination to be safer.
Drink all the water. The intensity of the Texas sun lends itself to hotter outdoor temperatures. Grab a refillable water bottle and fill it up before you leave your home or at a water fountain on campus.
Check the UV Index
Before heading out, check the UV index by using a weather app or forecasting website. Even on a day when the UV index is low (<2) it is recommended to take sun safe precautions like wearing sunglasses and an SPF of at least 30 and avoiding bright surfaces.
Sunscreen can be one of our best defenses against the strong Texas sun and other sources of UV radiation.
Visit the UT Sunscreen Dispensers
The sunscreen dispensers support a healthier campus environment by providing access to free sunscreen year-round. Check out our sunscreen dispensers at the Gregory Gymnasium Aquatics complex. The dispensers contain water-resistant SPF 30 sunscreen and have a ‘how to apply guide’ attached.
|Monday - Friday, 8am to 5pm by appointment|
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100 West Dean Keeton Student Services Building (SSB)