Original Paper

Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 181-186

First online:

Postal Workers’ Occupational and Leisure-time Sun Safety Behaviors (United States)

  • Elizabeth C. LewisAffiliated withGraduate School of Public Health, San Diego State University
  • , Joni A. MayerAffiliated withGraduate School of Public Health, San Diego State University Email author 
  • , Donald SlymenAffiliated withGraduate School of Public Health, San Diego State University

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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.


Leisure activities Occupational exposure Prevention & control Skin neoplasms