People drank more and exercised less in first lockdown
As a result of the first national lockdown, the UK population has eaten less fruit and vegetables, consumed more alcohol and exercised less, according to a study from the University of East Anglia (UEA).
The researchers tracked lifestyle behaviours including physical activity, diet, sleep, smoking, drinking and drug use during the first months of lockdown in April 2020 to understand its impact on the nation’s health.
It found that young people, women and those who are overweight were more likely to adopt unhealthy behaviours. In addition, some people at the highest risk of Covid-19 had the unhealthiest behavioural changes.
“Our findings indicate that on average, people’s health behaviours worsened in the early stages of the UK’s Covid-19 pandemic measures. It’s not surprising that restrictions on movement outside the house and difficulty getting groceries in the early days of lockdown may have led to a less healthy lifestyle for many,” said Professor Caitlin Notley from UEA’s Medical School and co-lead of the study.
“It is critical now that we reflect on these changes so that we can advise people of how best to protect their health for any future lockdowns.”