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COVID-19 UK: The Lockdown’s Impact on Our Habits

Using the CitizenMe platform, we went out to our COVID-19 community, which is an open-data research project designed to enable the world's citizens to share real-time opinions and data about COVID-19 with the institutions fighting the Epidemic.

Sample distribution: 1000 UK app-based citizens, Male (30%) / Female (70%), 18-34y.o. (58%) / 35+y.o. (42%)

Humans are creatures of habit - having a routine plays an important role in enabling us all to carry on with our lives. Since the lockdown has been imposed in the UK, our lives have dramatically changed, but the questions in many people’s minds are the same: “how have others been impacted?” and “what are others doing at home to keep themselves busy?”.

Routine or no routine?

Overall, 33% of those interviewed said they have been struggling to be productive since the lockdown. Those aged between 18-34 years are the ones most affected: 38% vs just 24% across the 35+ age group. 

The highest proportion of respondents (40%) have been able to carry on as normally as they can given the circumstances, and encouragingly, 1 in 4 said they have developed new routines (25%). Women (27%) and those 35+ years (29%) have been the most successful at getting a new routine in place.

Sleep and eating habits

But routines are not everything; basic needs, like sleep, are also very important. 47% of respondents have said their sleep has been disrupted since the lockdown started. Women (52%) are feeling this impact significantly more than men (37%):

Overall, 42% claimed their eating habits have worsened over the past few weeks, and similarly, with sleep, women (47%) have been more affected than men (28%).

Physical and mental health

Mental health has been the most impacted by the lockdown. Overall, 46% of those interviewed claimed their mental health has suffered vs 32% who claimed the same about their physical health. -*On this topic stay tuned as we are currently delving deeper and will report back in the upcoming days.

What is everyone else doing?

Some are asking, “what are people doing at home during the lockdown?”. Well overall, watching movies or TV series (48%), doing house chores (43%), and going for walks or running (35%) are the top 3 activities during lockdown.

Whilst for most activities there are no marked differences between genders, women are doing significantly more household chores and reading than men, who are playing considerably more video games. Anyone surprised?

The 'essentials' of lockdown

In line with lockdown activities, video subscriptions (21%) have been the key purchase people have made since the lockdown began, followed by fiction books/audiobooks (14%), and games for consoles or PC (13%).

Whilst women seem to have spent more on fiction books/audiobooks (16% vs men 11%) and nightwear/loungewear clothing (10% vs men 5%) - evidently trying to get comfortable and relax during lockdown - men have preferred to spend more on both games for consoles or PC (21% vs women 9%) and on technology – laptops/PC and/or smartphones/tablets (6% vs women 3%):

Parents also have had to deal with the impact of schools being closed – 44% said they have been home-schooling their children to keep them on track with their studies. Also, in order to keep their children busy, some have been organising game activities (33%), allowing their children more time on their gadgets (29%) or in front of the TV (24%), and even giving their children more responsibilities by involving them more in household chores (24%).

1 in 10 parents have also bought new books/audiobooks (12%), toys/board games (10%), educational programmes (10%) or video games/gaming consoles (9%):

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