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How often in shade if outside on sunny day over 1 hour

Codes and Frequencies

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For sample adults, SUN1SHA reports how frequently they stayed in the shade when they went outside on a sunny day for more than one hour.


In 2000, 2003, 2005, 2008 but not 2010 and forward, respondents were shown a flashcard listing the acceptable response categories, which included, "Always," "Most of the time," "Sometimes," "Rarely," and "Never." In 2010 and forward, respondents were read the same response categories but were not shown a flashcard.

The question wording changed slightly over time. In 2000 and 2003, the question asked about, "a very sunny day." In 2005, 2008, 2010, and 2015, the question asks about, "a warm sunny day." In 2020 forward, the question simply asks about "a sunny day."

In all years, the survey form instructed interviewers not to read the response category, "don't go out in the sun." If the respondent said that he/she did not go out into the sun, the Field Representative's Manual from 2000 instructed the interviewer to probe with, "What would happen if you did?" Similarly, the 2003 and 2020 forward Manuals instructed interviewers not to read the response category "don't go out in the sun" and to only mark it if the respondent "specifically tells you this." The 2005, 2008, 2010, and 2015 Manuals did not offer specific advice about this question.

For more information, please see SUN1HR.


The universe and response categories did not change over time. The supplemental interviewer instruction given in 2000, 2003, and 2020 forward may have made interviewers less likely to accept "don't go out in the sun" as a response, but responses should be generally comparable through time.

Additionally, while the basic meaning of this variable is completely comparable over time, major questionnaire changes introduced in 2019 may affect comparability with earlier years. The NHIS questionnaire was substantially redesigned in 2019 to introduce a different data collection structure and new content. For more information on changes in terminology, universes, and data collection methods beginning in 2019, please see the user note.


  • 2000; 2003; 2005; 2008; 2010; 2015: Sample adults age 18+.
  • 2020: Sample adults age 18+.


  • 2000, 2003, 2005, 2008, 2010, 2015, 2020


  • 2000, 2003, 2005, 2008, 2010, 2015, 2020 : SAMPWEIGHT