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Weather, mental health, and mobility during the first wave of the COVID‐19 pandemic

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  • Ashley Burdett
  • Apostolos Davillas
  • Ben Etheridge

Abstract

During the first United Kingdom wave of the COVID‐19 outbreak, the 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 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 mental health. Linkage with weather data shows that contrary to popular belief, daily or weekly weather conditions do not exacerbate the mental health consequences of the pandemic, as we found no systematic associations during the first lockdown period; on the other hand, we find systematic links between park mobility and weather over the same period.

Suggested Citation

  • Ashley Burdett & Apostolos Davillas & Ben Etheridge, 2021. "Weather, mental health, and mobility during the first wave of the COVID‐19 pandemic," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(9), pages 2296-2306, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:30:y:2021:i:9:p:2296-2306
    DOI: 10.1002/hec.4371
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Frijters, Paul & Lalji, Chitwan & Pakrashi, Debayan, 2020. "Daily weather only has small effects on wellbeing in the US," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 176(C), pages 747-762.
    2. Apostolos Davillas & Andrew M Jones, 2021. "The first wave of the COVID‐19 pandemic and its impact on socioeconomic inequality in psychological distress in the UK," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(7), pages 1668-1683, July.
    3. James Banks & Xiaowei Xu, 2020. "The Mental Health Effects of the First Two Months of Lockdown during the COVID‐19 Pandemic in the UK," Fiscal Studies, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 41(3), pages 685-708, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lindley, Joanne & Rienzo, Cinzia, 2021. "The Effect of Repeated Lockdowns during the Covid-19 Pandemic on UK Mental Health Outcomes," GLO Discussion Paper Series 977, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    2. Chan, Ho Fai & Cheng, Zhiming & Mendolia, Silvia & Paloyo, Alfredo R. & Tani, Massimiliano & Proulx, Damon & Savage, David & Torgler, Benno, 2022. "Societal Movement Restrictions and Adverse Mental Health Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 15111, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Kathrin Durizzo & Edward Asiedu & Antoinette van der Merwe & Isabel Günther, 2022. "Economic Recovery but Stagnating Mental Health During a Global Pandemic? Evidence from Ghana and South Africa," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 68(2), pages 563-589, June.

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