Sunlight is the body’s principal natural source of vitamin D, which protects bone and muscle health. Levels of vitamin D deficiency in the UK are high. University of Manchester research shows that, although public awareness of vitamin D is good, behaviour is largely driven by concerns about sunburn and skin cancer. The University’s research shows that a ‘little and often’ approach to sunlight exposure in the UK can provide sufficient vitamin D and avoid vitamin D deficiency. Public health messages should be designed to enhance awareness of the benefits of sunlight exposure and of the ‘little and often’ message. This will better balance the benefits of sunlight exposure for vitamin D production while minimising risks of sunburn and skin cancer.