No plans to diet? I’m in!

  • Two-thirds of people have no plans to give up unhealthy lockdown habits
  • Poor diet, alcohol and sleep habits, plus rises in inactivity, look set to stick
  • But, mental health prioritised – 45% adopting new positive habits
  • People in the South West are slightly less likely to have begun eating unhealthily during this time (27%) compared to the UK as a whole (33%)

Physical mental and spiritual health is at risk right now. I can’t go to counselling groups or church and I feel worried even taking a bus. Also GPs only offering telephone appointments and two hour queues at the pharmacy. It’s real.

Now four out of five people who responded to a poll (81%) are reporting an increase in harmful habits, including smoking, poor diet and staying up late. Yet only a third (31%) of those surveyed plan to shake off their new habits after lockdown, according to a YouGov survey, by self-care app and website Your.MD.

According to leading behavioural economist, Denise Hampson, the sudden disruption to our old way of life has shaken our routines and habits, with the ambiguity of life in lockdown leading us to replace them with new ones that we find comforting.

The survey found that detrimental habits have emerged during the course of lockdown. A combination of the habits identified will, over time, lead to long-term implications for individual health, earning lockdown another place in the list of risks to our health.

Almost a fifth (17%) of people claim to have started drinking more than 14 units of alcohol a week (approx. two bottles of wine) during lockdown, and 9% have taken up smoking. This is more common in 35-44-year-olds (20% and 13% respectively).

A third (33%) of the public say their eating habits are less healthy now than before lockdown began, with full-time students and 18-24-year-olds at the forefront of the trend (47% and 49% respectively).

In spite of a rise in online fitness classes and government encouragement to get outside to exercise, 30% said they had become less active during lockdown. This peaks in London, where 39% are exercising less than before lockdown began. Across Great Britain, ONS data which looked at ‘Coronavirus and the Impacts on Great Britain’ reveals that 42% of people are unable to exercise as normal, due to the implications of the virus.



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Editor in chief Suzi Dixon studied at Bournemouth university, went away for a while to work at The Daily Telegraph, then moved back to the sunny South coast for a quiet (er) life. Bournemouth News & Info is her website and she is assisted by the fabulous Fred From France in all things geeky and technical. Hire us to make your website, too, if you like.

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