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To Zoom or not to Zoom: A longitudinal study of UK population's activities during the COVID-19 pandemic

Li, Lan; Sullivan, Ava; Musah, Anwar; Stavrianaki, Katerina; Wood, Caroline E; Baker, Philip; Kostkova, Patty; (2022) To Zoom or not to Zoom: A longitudinal study of UK population's activities during the COVID-19 pandemic. PLoS One , 17 (7) , Article e0270207. 10.1371/journal.pone.0270207. Green open access

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Abstract

This longitudinal study determines the frequency and way of people doing activities from Spring 2020 to Summer 2021 during different phases of the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK. Six online surveys were carried out between April 2020 and July 2021. 4,992 participants were engaged in the cross-sectional study and 203 participants who provided repeat responses were included in the subset sample of prospective cohort analysis. Primary outcomes measured were the frequency and the mode of doing the activities (online or in-person) across sixteen selected activity groups, as defined by the UK National Time Use Survey. The results show that cultural activities, spending time with others, and travelling, were the activities with the largest proportions of frequency and mode changes. The most significant changes occurred from March to June 2020, a period that included the first lockdown. Survey results from this period show a significant decrease among most of the sixteen measured activities. From March to October 2020, a period which spans the first lockdown and its subsequent ease of restrictions, showed the most significant shift from accessing activities in-person to online. Despite 'Freedom Day', the July 19th 2021 date in which all restrictions were abolished, it was found that people do cultural activities and group activities at a significantly lower frequency than before the pandemic. In addition, despite a lack of restrictions after this date, more than half of participants access many activities, such as spending time with others, shopping, work and studying, online or hybrid. This study provides an invaluable insight into understanding how people in the UK changed their lifestyle, including what activities they do, and how they accessed those activities in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and related public health policy implemented to address the pandemic. These results may serve as unique evidence for policymakers.

Type: Article
Title: To Zoom or not to Zoom: A longitudinal study of UK population's activities during the COVID-19 pandemic
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0270207
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0270207
Language: English
Additional information: © 2022 Li et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Keywords: Humans, Longitudinal Studies, Prospective Studies, Cross-Sectional Studies, Communicable Disease Control, Pandemics, United Kingdom, COVID-19
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Inst for Risk and Disaster Reduction
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Geography
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10152263
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