How Covid-19 has affected our habits for better and worse

Two years of COVID-19
Covid changed so many things
Less consumerism
Overall, people now spend less
No need for make-up
Masks mean less make-up
When we do consume, online is preferred
Online sales went up
Streaming services are booming
We watch more hours of TV
Lockdown increased time spent watching television
We exercise more
An 88% increase in exercise
We spend more on fitness equipment
We eat out less
Restrictions have made eating out impossible at times
More home cooking
We are improving our cooking skills too
Higher alcohol consumption
Not all changes have been better for our health
An new-found appreciation for nature
Camping has become much more popular
An increase in sleep
Online classes have meant more rest for university students
More DIY
Tools sales soared
More of us work from home
Very few of us worked from home before the pandemic
More books
Reading more and for longer
New hobbies, an increase in arts&crafts
More time at home has meant more time to create
Less travel = a cleaner planet
Carbon emissions went down
Prioritizing family and friends
Evaluating our priorities
We are more considerate when we fall ill
We understand the value of staying home when sick
Two years of COVID-19

It has been two years since most countries worldwide found themselves in lockdown due to the Coronavirus. The pandemic has had a massive effect on people's lives all around the world.

Covid changed so many things

It has changed everything in our day-to-day lives, from how we work, sleep, interact to how we spend our money and our time. Join us as we take a look at the most significant changes that Covid-19 has had on our lives.

Less consumerism

Obviously, with the initial lockdown, many countries put in place to help combat the spread of the virus; people couldn't get out shopping other than for essential goods.

Overall, people now spend less

When measures have been relaxed, perhaps due to loss of jobs and a related loss of income, most individuals have curbed their frivolous spending.

No need for make-up

Statistics show one of the hardest-hit areas has been the cosmetics industry. L'Oreal has stated that sales in beauty products have fell around 25% due to the pandemic.

Masks mean less make-up

Working from home and constant mask usage when out of the house is most likely the culprit of this decline.

When we do consume, online is preferred

Internet shopping across the globe, in all sectors, has increased with the shops closed and with consumers that are hesitant to go out when the shops are open; this is no surprise.

Online sales went up

From hand sanitizer to groceries, cleaning supplies, and everything in between, online shopping has become the preferred way to shop. Online sales in the U.S went up 31.8% quarter over quarter per the U.S. Census Bureau in 2021.

Streaming services are booming

With lockdown, most households saw an increase in their screen time. In the UK, for example, streaming services such as Netflix and Disney+ saw around 12 million new users join in March of 2020.

We watch more hours of TV

Interestingly, according to a study done in the UK called 'Media Nations 2020', when lockdown measures eased at the end of June 2020, the use of streaming services did not decline and held steady at the 71% increase that came from lockdown.

Lockdown increased time spent watching television

55% of UK adults said they would continue with their new subscriptions and spend the same amount of time watching them as they did during lockdown.

We exercise more

The webpage 'RunRepeat' organized a survey with 12,913 participants from 139 countries to collect data on how Covid had changed the population's physical activity level.

An 88% increase in exercise

The survey shows that people who were active before the pandemic have increased their activity level. People who exercised 1-2 times a week increased exercising by an average of 88%. Oddly, those who were the most active before the pandemic have decreased their activity level. Those exercising 4+ times a week saw a decrease of 14% in their activity level.

We spend more on fitness equipment

The most significant increase in exercise has come from those who were least active pre-pandemic. Perhaps this explains the surge in spending on home fitness equipment, as these individuals were probably the least prepared to workout at home. With gyms closed and many people wanting to take better care of their health, spending on home fitness equipment went up a whopping 123% in 2020.

We eat out less

Over the past two years, as restrictions have been relaxed and then increased again, restaurants have really taken a hit. Many consumers no longer feel safe eating out even if it is allowed.

Restrictions have made eating out impossible at times

Fast food and casual dining restaurants in Canada, the U.S., and the U.K. saw a massive drop in sales. According to statistics, fast food sales went down on average 45% and casual dining saw a decrease of 67% in these three countries.

More home cooking

Since we spend so much time at home and have less time for out-of-the-house distractions, it is only natural that home cooking has increased. According to an Acosta report, more than 55% of consumers in the U.S. claim they are eating at home more than before.

We are improving our cooking skills too

Whereas in the U.K., studies indicate that there has been a 72% percent increase in cooking in English homes. In countries worldwide, there has also been an increase in learning more complicated cooking techniques and an interest in trying new recipes.

Higher alcohol consumption

Even though our lifestyle has slowed down during the pandemic, our stress has not. Many individuals around the globe have been having an extra glass of wine or beer to help them unwind. According to a study done in 83 countries by BMJ Open 36% of adults reported an increase in their alcohol consumption.

Not all changes have been better for our health

The most significant increase came from individuals under very high levels of stress or isolation: essential workers, those whose partner was severely ill from COVID-19, individuals suffering from depression and anxiety, and of course, parents. Members of these groups saw a 95% increase in the amount of alcohol they drank.

An new-found appreciation for nature

According to a study done by OnePoll for the American Fishing and Boating Association, 60% of Americans have a newfound appreciation for nature.

Camping has become much more popular

Similar studies done in other countries indicate that more people are enjoying outdoor activities on a global level. Campgrounds and national parks saw a surge in campers and hikers over the summer, as many individuals see these activities as safe and relaxing.

An increase in sleep

According to research published in the journal Current Biology, people in the U.S. and Europe are sleeping more due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Europeans have been sleeping around 15 minutes more on average since the pandemic began.

Online classes have meant more rest for university students

University students have been benefitting the most, probably because of online classes. A study of 139 universities done by the Integrative Physiology at the University of Colorado, Boulder, found students were spending an average of 30 minutes longer sleeping on weekdays and around 24 minutes on weekends.

More DIY

When you spend all day in your house or apartment, the little improvements that need to be made really, really start to stand out. With plenty of time on our hands and the lack of available professionals, many have taken to DIY.

Tools sales soared

Both in Europe and North America, sales of tools and DIY supplies have increased as homeowners attempt to cure their boredom by improving their homes.

More of us work from home

Working from home has been a huge life change for both employees and companies around the world. In the U.K., a survey by the University of Birmingham and the University of Kent found that 86% of those surveyed had worked from home in 2020, and 70% of those employees had flexible working times.

Very few of us worked from home before the pandemic

In the U.S., an American survey found that 44% percent of employees worked from home five days a week or more; however, only 17% of employees worked in these conditions before the pandemic.

More books

With more time spent at home, studies have found a major increase in the amount of reading we do. Research done by Nielsen's Books in the U.K. found that 41% of people read more books than they did before lockdown.

Reading more and for longer

Not only are people reading more books, but they are also reading for more extended periods of time, with the average time spent reading rising from 3.5 hours to 6 hours a week.

New hobbies, an increase in arts&crafts

Throughout Europe and North American, arts and crafts suppliers have had a boom in sales ever since the pandemic arrived. Hobbycraft in the U.K. has noted a 200% increase in sales. With more time on our hands, we are finally finding time to explore new hobbies, everything from soap making to finally trying oil painting.

More time at home has meant more time to create

Parents with young children have also been spending plenty on craft supplies in a desperate attempt to keep them away from screens. Whatever people's motivations are, arts and crafts suppliers couldn't be happier with the increased sales.

Less travel = a cleaner planet

According to new research from the University of East Anglia, the University of Exeter, and the Global Carbon Project, global greenhouse gas emissions went down by roughly 2.4 billion tons in 2020, 7% lower than in 2019 and the most significant decline on record. It is evident that these numbers are due to global Covid-19 restrictions.

Carbon emissions went down

A decrease in travel and transportation caused a global drop in carbon emissions. In the U.S. carbon emissions went down by 12%, in the European Union by 11%, in India by 9%, and in China by 1.7%.

Prioritizing family and friends

Research done by Mintel indicates that individuals across Europe agree that staying in touch with friends and family has now become a higher priority for them than it was before the pandemic.

Evaluating our priorities

Mintel found that 57% of British and 55% of French agreed with the statement, followed by Italians (47%), Spanish (46%). The survey found that the Germans and Polish were least likely to lean more on friends and family, with only 38% and 34% agreeing with the statement.

We are more considerate when we fall ill

Even though many of us are now working from home, when we do return to work, the days of going in to work well under the weather are most likely gone for good. Since the arrival of Covid-19, we've learned the great importance of keeping our germs to ourselves.

We understand the value of staying home when sick

We've become masters at hand sanitizing and at sneezing into our elbow. The stigma of missing work due to illness is gone; if you are sick, your colleagues certainly don't want you coming in!

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