Little is known about the validity of self-recorded sun exposure and time spent outdoors for epidemiological research. The aims of the current study were to assess how well participants’ self-recorded time outdoors compared to objective measurements of personal UVR doses. We enrolled 124 volunteers aged 40 and above who were identified from targeted subgroups of US radiologic technologists. Each volunteer was instructed to wear a polysulfone (PS) dosimeter to measure UVR on their left shoulder and to complete a daily activity diary, listing all activities undertaken in each 30 min interval between 9:00 A.M. and 5:00 P.M. during a 7 day period. In a linear regression model, self-recorded daily time spent outdoors was associated with an increase of 8.2% (95% CI: 7.3–9.2%) in the personal UVR exposure with every hour spent outdoors. The amount of self-recorded total daily time spent outdoors was better correlated with the personal daily UVR dose for activities conducted near noon time compared to activities conducted in the morning or late afternoon, and for activities often performed in the sun (e.g. gardening or recreation activities) compared to other outdoor activities (e.g. driving) in which the participant is usually shaded from the sun. Our results demonstrated a significant correlation between diary records of time spent outdoors with objective personal UVR dose measurements.