Air Structures and the Sun: How Playing Indoors Can Save Your Life
Here’s one more benefit to playing sports in a dome during the summer: protection from the sun!
It was not so long ago that “sun worshipping” was the norm for a sizeable percentage of the population. People spent hours in the sun perfecting their tan and would even cover themselves in stuff like baby oil to enhance the effect of the sun's UVA and UVB rays.
However, with the depletion of the ozone layer, this popular exercise in self-improvement became a significant threat to public safety. We are all now much more aware of the dangers of excessive exposure to UVA and UVB rays. In spite of this, skin cancer is the fastest rising form of the disease in Canada, with the number of cases and deaths up dramatically in the past 25 years.
Despite not being the most common form of skin cancer, melanoma poses the greatest risk because of how quickly it can spread. It occurs when melanocytes—the pigment producing part of you skin—mutate and become cancerous. Unfortunately, there are no obvious symptoms apparent in the early stages of the disease.
According to the Canadian Cancer Society, one in 57 Canadian men is expected to develop melanoma during his lifetime and one in 227 will die from it. One in 74 Canadian women is expected to develop melanoma during her lifetime and one in 456 will die from it.
We are all painfully familiar with wrinkles and other age-related changes in our skin. Genetics is the primary cause, but you might be surprised to find out just how much the sun plays a part. The melanin in your skin acts as protection from UV rays, but only to a certain extent. Once you surpass that limit, sunburns occur. The skin damage leads to wrinkles, fine lines, age spots, skin discoloration, and dry, leathery looking skin.
Sunglasses don’t just make you look cool; they also protect your vision from sun-related damage. Cataracts are the main cause of blindness in the world and the World Health Organization estimates that 20% of these cases are the direct result of excessive UV rays. Sun exposure can also lead to inflammation of the cornea (photokeratitis) or inflammation of the conjunctiva (photo-conjunctivitis), conditions that are usually easier to overcome, but still anxiety-inducing and quite painful.
One can even develop melanoma on the eyeball or eyelid. While these are treatable, the surgery is extremely delicate and risky.
Practice Safety Measures
The best way to avoid these instances of sun-related damage is through common sense. Wear sunscreen, stay out of the sun during peak times (e.g. midday), do not use tanning beds, and report any changes in your skin to the doctor immediately. While shorts and bathing suits are fine for the most part, you should also be dressing sensibly. Make sure that your sunglasses include UV protection.
Fortunately, you also have a practical alternative when it comes to outdoor activities. We all know that Farley’s air-supported domes are a wonderful advantage for those who like to partake in their favorite sports during the winter months, but the indoor space has a practical use in the summer. Air structures provide an excellent venue for activities such as tennis or soccer, where lengthy sun exposure is commonplace. The safety and convenience of a climate-controlled facility means participants can devote their full attention to the game, allowing for maximum levels of fun and achievement. Now you can stay healthy and keep your skin safe by enjoying the benefits of the great indoors year round!