Lifestyle and Mental Health Disruptions During COVID-19

79 Pages Posted: 6 Aug 2020

See all articles by Osea Giuntella

Osea Giuntella

University of Pittsburgh

Kelly Hyde

University of Pittsburgh - Department of Economics

Silvia Saccardo

Carnegie Mellon University, Department of Social and Decision Sciences

Sally Sadoff

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Rady School of Management

Date Written: August 4, 2020

Abstract

COVID-19 has affected daily life in unprecedented ways. Using a longitudinal dataset linking biometric and survey data from several cohorts of young adults before and during the pandemic (N=685), we document large disruptions to physical activity, sleep, time use, and mental health. At the onset of the pandemic, average steps decline from 9,400 to 4,600 steps per day, sleep increases by about 25-30 minutes per night, time spent socializing declines by over half to less than 30 minutes, and screen time more than doubles to over 5 hours per day. The proportion of participants at risk of clinical depression increases to 65%, over twice the rate in the same population prior to the pandemic. Our analyses suggest that disruption to physical activity is a leading risk factor for depression during the pandemic. However, restoration of those habits - either naturally or through policy intervention - has limited impact on restoring mental well-being.

Keywords: COVID-19, health, mental health, depression, higher education, physical activity, sleep

JEL Classification: I00, I12

Suggested Citation

Giuntella, Osea and Hyde, Kelly and Saccardo, Silvia and Sadoff, Sally, Lifestyle and Mental Health Disruptions During COVID-19 (August 4, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3666985 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3666985

Osea Giuntella (Contact Author)

University of Pittsburgh ( email )

135 N Bellefield Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
United States

Kelly Hyde

University of Pittsburgh - Department of Economics ( email )

4901 Wesley Posvar Hall
230 South Bouquet Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
United States

HOME PAGE: http://kdhyde.com

Silvia Saccardo

Carnegie Mellon University, Department of Social and Decision Sciences ( email )

Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
United States

Sally Sadoff

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Rady School of Management ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
Rady School of Management
La Jolla, CA 92093
United States

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