Inside workers at risk of insufficient vitamin D3 levels
September 12, 2018
Topping up and maintaining healthy levels of vitamin D3 has become a priority especially for those who work indoors. It’s clear that maintaining healthy levels of vitamin D3 is important but are you at risk yourself? If you’re an office worker or just work indoors, you may be.
What is insufficient vitamin D3 levels and how does it occur?
Insufficient vitamin D3 levels is a term used when a person is not gaining enough natural vitamin D3. This can occur either through a lack of exposure to sunlight, due to sunlight being unable to reach the skin because of clothing or due to someone being indoors for long periods of time. It could also be through their diet, as they may not be eating enough food that is rich in vitamin D3. Good sources of Vitamin D3 include fatty fish, milk, cheese, and eggs.
What are the symptoms of low vitamin D3 levels?
Vitamin D3 contributes to maintaining strong bones, teeth and muscle function. Lack of vitamin D3 has traditionally been associated with rickets, a disease which leads to soft bones and skeletal deformities. Increasingly today, we are aware that a vitamin D3 deficiency can lead to many different health problems from feeling tired, depression and a weak immune system. If you often pick up colds and the flu, low vitamin D3 levels may be contributing, since vitamin D3 works with the cells that fight infection.
Although these are some of the vitamin D3 deficiency symptoms, they are often subtle and hard to know if its low vitamin D3 or something else. If you think you have a deficiency, it’s always best to talk to your doctor and get your blood levels measured.
What are the disadvantages of working inside?
Because vitamin D3 is made when bare skin is exposed to direct sunlight, anyone who does not spend much time in the sun is at risk of having insufficient levels of vitamin D3. This includes those who spend most of their time working in an indoor environment i.e. office, warehouse etc as this leads to less or, particularly in the winter months, no time in the sun. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that the ultraviolet B rays in sunlight which are required to make vitamin D3 do not penetrate glass. So even if you are sitting inside in the sun, you’re probably not making any vitamin D3.
With increasingly indoor lifestyles, it’s important for those who work inside to make sure their vitamin D3 levels are sufficient, helping to maintain health and happiness.
What can you do to help maintain Vitamin D3 levels if you work inside?
Vitamin D3 deficiency is common and whilst most people are unaware of it, there are some simple lifestyle changes you can make. If you work inside or are one of the many office workers in the UK and concerned about your health, you can increase your sun exposure, eat more vitamin-D-rich foods, such as fatty fish or fortified dairy products, or take a vitamin D3 supplement.
Fixing a vitamin D3 deficiency is simple but can have big benefits for your health.