Weather, Psychological Wellbeing and Mobility During the First Wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic

15 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2021

See all articles by Ashley Burdett

Ashley Burdett

University of Essex

Apostolos Davillas

University of East Anglia (UEA)

Ben Etheridge

University of Essex

Abstract

To reduce infection rates during the first UK wave of the COVID-19 outbreak, a first lockdown was announced on March 23, 2020, with a final easing of the restrictions on July 4, 2020. Among the most important public health costs of lockdown restrictions are the potential adverse effects on mental health and physical activity. Using data from the UK Household Longitudinal Study (UKHLS) and Google COVID-19 Mobility Reports we find evidence of reduced park mobility during the initial period of the first UK lockdown and confirm existing evidence of worsening psychological wellbeing. Linkage with weather data shows that contrary to popular belief, weather conditions do not exacerbate the mental health consequences of the pandemic, while we find systematic links between park mobility and weather over the same period. Our results highlight the importance of promoting the existing guidelines on regular exercise during winter lockdowns.

JEL Classification: I10, I12, C23

Suggested Citation

Burdett, Ashley and Davillas, Apostolos and Etheridge, Ben, Weather, Psychological Wellbeing and Mobility During the First Wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic. IZA Discussion Paper No. 14119, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3789386 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3789386

Ashley Burdett

University of Essex ( email )

Wivenhoe Park
Colchester, CO4 3SQ
United Kingdom

Apostolos Davillas (Contact Author)

University of East Anglia (UEA) ( email )

Norwich Research Park
Norwich, Norfolk NR4 7TJ
United Kingdom

Ben Etheridge

University of Essex ( email )

Wivenhoe Park
Colchester, CO4 3SQ
United Kingdom

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