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Publication Detail
Time-use and mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic: a panel analysis of 55,204 adults followed across 11 weeks of lockdown in the UK
Abstract
There is currently major concern about the impact of the global COVID-19 outbreak on mental health. But it remains unclear how individual behaviors could exacerbate or protect against adverse changes in mental health. This study aimed to examine the associations between specific activities (or time-use) and mental health and wellbeing amongst people during the Covid-19 pandemic. Data were from the UCL COVID-19 Social Study; a panel study collecting data weekly during the COVID-19 pandemic. The analytical sample consisted of 55,204 adults living in the UK who were followed up for the strict 11-week lockdown period from 21st March to 31st May 2020. Data were analyzed using fixed-effects and Arellano–Bond models. We found that changes in time spent on a range of activities were associated with changes in mental health and wellbeing. After controlling for bidirectionality, behaviors involving outdoor activities including gardening and exercising predicted subsequent improvements in mental health and wellbeing, while increased time spent on following news about COVID-19 predicted declines in mental health and wellbeing. These results are relevant to the formulation of guidance for people obliged to spend extended periods in isolation during health emergencies, and may help the public to maintain wellbeing during future pandemics.
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Behavioural Science and Health
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Behavioural Science and Health
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Behavioural Science and Health
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Behavioural Science and Health
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