1. ITV Report

How have people been coping with the coronavirus lockdown?

How has people's behaviour changed since the lockdown? Credit: PA

The coronavirus lockdown has led to people sleeping less, eating and drinking more, heightened anxiety and an increase in domestic arguments, a survey has found.

The UK public was surveyed by King’s College London and Ipsos MORI, and the results provide an interesting insight into how Brits have been coping with the Covid-19 lockdown.

A national lockdown was announced last month, restricting people from leaving their homes unless they have an essential reason to leave.

The lockdown was initially implemented for a three-week period, but as the number of coronavirus deaths continue to rise, it’s unlikely the lockdown will be lifted.

The lockdown was implemented initially for three weeks, but it's likely it will be extended. Credit: PA

The survey found many are struggling with life under lockdown – more than half of people say they have felt more anxious or depressed than normal since they were told to stay home and 38% of people are sleeping less or less well than normal.

In terms of lifestyle choices, 35% of people surveyed found themselves eating more and reaching for unhealthy food, while alcohol intake is up – 19% are drinking more than they usually would.

As the public find themselves stuck under the same roof as the rest of their household, tensions have flared and arguments have increased – 19% of people are arguing more with family members or people they live with.

The coronavirus pandemic is dominating many people’s thoughts – nearly a third (32%) check social media several times a day for updates on the crisis, and of those, 7% check once an hour or more.

People sleeping less or less well than normal
People have been eating more or less healthy food. Credit: PA

While the outbreak has also led to people reaching out for support – as 6% phoned a counselling or support service since the lockdown.

But the lockdown has not been a completely negative experience, as it has led to people lending support to others – 60% say they have offered help to friends, family and neighbours, while 47% say they’ve received such help.

While the public are also volunteering to help throughout the crisis – 6% say they’ve signed up to the NHS Volunteer Responders scheme, and 11% say they’re planning to.

And 5% volunteered officially with another organisation and 22% say they’ve helped others on an informal basis.

People drinking more alcohol than usual
38% of people said they are sleeping less or less well than normal. Credit: PA

People are also finding new ways to stay in touch and exercise using online videos, but almost 50% of people still exercised outside of their home.

Kelly Beaver, Managing Director of Public Affairs at Ipsos MORI, said: “It’s becoming clear that people are beginning to suffer due to the restrictions stemming from the Covid-19 outbreak.

“It’s incredibly concerning that half of people say they are feeling more anxious or depressed.”

But Ms Beaver added: “The silver lining that 60% have volunteered to help people is more needed than ever.”

The survey is based on 2,250 interviews with UK residents aged 18-75, and was carried out between 1 and 3 April 2020.

Coronavirus: Everything you need to know