The Hobart

Winter Is Coming- How To Boost Your Vitamin D

by Genevieve Morton
Winter Is Coming- How To Boost Your Vitamin D

As the days get shorter and darker, Tasmanians are being urged to top up their Vitamin D with sunlight – and supplements.

A third of Tasmanians are reportedly deficient in Vitamin D in the Summer months and up to two thirds are deficient in Winter and Spring. If you’ve spent the warmer weather applying sunscreen, experts agree now is a good time time to bare unprotected skin to the sun for short periods in the day.

Cancer Council Tasmania suggests Tasmanians should aim for 10 to 15 minutes of sun exposure once or twice a day in March, avoid sunburn and protect skin and eyes from the sun if the UV is 3 or above.

“It’s not always an easy balance,” says Dr Greg Schwarz from Gore Street Medical in South Hobart. “You don’t want sunburn, but you do need a certain amount of sun for adequate Vitamin D production.” He says Tasmania is at a geographical disadvantage when it comes to Vitamin D production.

“It’s an issue of latitude because of where we are. For a good part of the year, about six months, the sun is so low that the UVB doesn’t penetrate and we don’t put our skin in the sun, so we find it very difficult to make Vitamin D. “That together with the whole sun avoidance thing and general indoor life means large proportions of the population are Vitamin D deficient – pretty much anyone in Tassie who is not taking a supplement will be low.”

Tasmanians most at risk of low Vitamin D levels are people with very dark skin, those with little or no sun exposure such as office workers and people who deliberately cover up and avoid the sun. People who are overweight or obese and the babies of Vitamin D deficient mothers are also at risk, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Gould’s naturopath Nena Aleschewski says if you are going to take supplements, make sure you are taking Vitamin D3. “It’s the most bio-available, you can get Vitamin D2 but your body needs to convert that so it’s a bit harder to use,” she says.

“I would be encouraging people to get tested first with a blood test, you should be working in conjunction with a health professional to get the best advice based on individual needs.”

A lack of Vitamin D can impact muscle and bone health. It can also play a part in Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). “A lot of people get sick and run down at the end of Winter and muscle weakness is a big one for people who are severely deficient,” Greg says. “However, within weeks of topping up, I see a remarkable difference.”


  • Bare as much skin as possible, at least hands and arms.
  • Be outdoors and active every day to help make Vitamin D.
  • Avoid the middle of the day when UV levels are highest.
  • When UV is 3 or above protect your skin and eyes from the sun if you are outside for longer periods.

Love this

Cold Water Wake Up Call
It seems everywhere I turn someone is talking about or participating in cold water swimming right now.
A Short Geelong Getaway
Since the Spirit of Tasmania terminal moved from Melbourne to Geelong late last year, a visit to Geelong has been on the radar.
27 Hobart Friends Get Snipping For One Off Wine
The borders were declared shut in Tasmania on the 30th of March, 2020; the first stare to do so amid the COVID- 19 pandemic and hard lockdown of Hobart followed.
Danphe Nepalese and Indian Food + Peppermint Bay Bar and Bistro
Nepalese food is a comfort in our house. Having spent much time trekking and mountain climbing in Nepal as a younger man, Nepalese food is something I always love to go back to.
That’s DR Hannah Gadsby To You
From Smithton to Netflix and the Emmys stage, Tasmanian stand up comic Hannah Gadsby has forged an unlikely path. Following on from the massive success of her shows Nanette and Douglas, Hannah brings her new show Body of Work to Hobart this month.
PODCAST: Incat founder Robert Clifford on why electric boats are the future
Robert Clifford is the founder of Incat, a Hobart company building fast ferries for the world. Always looking to future opportunities, he has identified where Hobart sits in the next wave of transportation. For more of this interview listen to The Hobart Magazine podcast.
Is Tourism Ready For More Forestry Wars?
Tasmanian forests are special. They’re home to centuries-old trees, including the tallest flowering trees on the planet, and support unique native species. Yet not everyone agrees on how these forests should be managed.
Hobart Chefs: When The Obsession Becomes Real
Tasmania’s brand as a foodie haven is cemented. But within the local hospitality industry there are those who love to use local produce...and those who are next-level obsessed with it. We spoke to a bunch of Hobart chefs who are top of the game when it comes to fostering relationships with local farmers and growers.
Did You Know Australia’s First Female Doctor Was Hobartian?
Tasmania, despite its small size and population in comparison to the mainland, has produced more than its proportionally predicted percentage of significant figures and heroes of Australian history. 
Return Travellers Adding Pressure to Hobart Housing
For all of us 2020 was a year like no other, punctuated by rapid change and plenty of new challenges. For vulnerable people in Tasmania, including people facing homelessness, those on low incomes and those facing increasingly higher rents, it was very challenging. We are seeing a growing demand for homes in Tassie from international travellers returning home, people moving for work and others seeking the lifestyle that our Apple Isle has to offer.
AboutContributeAdvertiseNewsletter Sign UpContact
May 2024

Stay up to date with everything happening at the Hobart Magazine.

Thank you to Luke Brokensha for mobilising his friends and local residents recently to host two rubbish clean ups along the Hobart Rivulet after heavy rains.
The warm weather returns...hello summer.
Need a laugh? Check out @theinspiredunemployed feed on Instagram.
Moto Vecchia Cafe in Bellerive and Czegs Cafe in Richmond have joined the Clarence City Council dementia program, creating dementia-friendly spaces for all patrons.
It’s hard to believe it’s not standard practice to have a working phone in every aged care room - shared phones make private conversations impossible and increase the risk of spreading COVID-19.
Tacks on the tracks. Mountain bikers beware of tacks being left on certain tracks on the mountain.
Just when you think your cousins are alright. NZ Opposition Leader Judith Collins took aim at Tassie during her recent (unsuccessful) campaign, calling us Australia’s “poor cousin.” She also seems worried about us nabbing tech businesses, “It’s a lovely part of the world but do you necessarily want to go there with your high- tech business? Possibly not,” she said. We beg to differ!