At the top-secret military instillation located at the northernmost point of civilization on Earth, access to sunbeds is considered indispensable, according to coverage from National Post. Inhabitants of the Canadian Forces’s outpost on the tip of the country, near Greenland, last saw daylight on Oct. 14.
“They live and work in a Lego-like maze of well-heated, brightly lit buildings that includes a tanning salon, two gyms, two bars and an excellent chow hall,” the Post‘s Matthew Fisher writes. “For much of the year they are surrounded by perpetual darkness, sharing their patch of land with polar bears, muskox, Arctic fox, wolves and giant white hares that thrive in one of the most severe climates outside Antarctica.”
With the Arctic temperatures, close quarters and 24-hour darkness for long stretches, keeping up morale is a always a challenge, but they have their methods of combatting dreary moods.
“The station offers a range of activities to maintain morale. Everyone at Alert may make one video conference call and one telephone call every day to communicate with family and friends down south. There are clubs promoting hobbies like photography and sewing,” Fisher writes. “The messes allow each person a ration of two beers a day, and a place to catch hockey games and other programming broadcast live from the south. Access to a tanning machine, and the ability to soak up some Vitamin D, is considered an essential of life. There are expeditions to fish for Arctic char, weather permitting, and in the summer, mountain biking and treks to collect crystals and pyrite.”
Exposure to both UVA and UVB light is important because the effects of moderate sun exposure extend beyond those related to vitamin D, according to the Vitamin D Council’s Dr. John Cannell. One study found that UV exposure not only increased vitamin D levels but also improved quality of life indicators. Other benefits of UV exposure described by the VDC include enhanced mood and energy, treatment of skin diseases, relieved pain in fibromyalgia, skin barrier functions, protection against MS, and nitric oxide production.
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