Behaviors Long-term effects

Health Behavior Changes during COVID-19 Pandemic

Back in April, my colleague and I asked YOU to take a survey via YLE (and other social media platforms).

In total, we reached 47,796 social media users (i.e. people who read the post), and, ultimately, 2,440 of you took the survey. This is the first peer-reviewed, published analysis of YOUR data (that is if you participated).

The purpose of this paper: How did healthy and unhealthy behaviors (physical activity, substance use, and sleeping) change in the beginning of the pandemic (compared to before the pandemic):

• For the majority of people behaviors remained the same after immediate shut down policies

• Among those that reported changes…

o Tobacco use: More people increased use compared to decreased use after stay-at-home orders were put in place. This was especially true among females and those with depression

o Marijuana use increased…especially among those with depression

o Alcohol consumption increased…especially among those with kids, were college graduate, and had depression

o Physical activity decreased…especially among females, among those that spent more time at home, and among those with depression.

o Sleep quality worsened…especially among females, college graduates, those with more than 1 comorbid condition, and those with depression

• Why did we see changes?

o Boredom

o More worried

o Stress relief

o Less motivation

o More time available

So…what? These behaviors have a direct impact on our health and our overall quality of life RIGHT NOW. These changes will also have long-term effects. The full picture will take a few years to see, but we are starting to get a peek.

Other papers with YOUR data are in the pipeline. I’m particularly excited about my paper on intimate partner violence, which is in press now. We also have an alcohol consumption paper and a depression paper coming soon. Stay tuned.

Love, YLE

P.S. If you’re ever asked, please take part in research surveys and studies. PLEASE. (Census…cough cough). We really only know what’s going on when you are willing to share your experiences.

Data Source:

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