IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

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


  • Burdett, Ashley

    (University of Essex)

  • Davillas, Apostolos

    (University of Macedonia)

  • Etheridge, Ben

    (University of Essex)


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.

Suggested Citation

  • Burdett, Ashley & Davillas, Apostolos & Etheridge, Ben, 2021. "Weather, Psychological Wellbeing and Mobility during the First Wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic," IZA Discussion Papers 14119, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp14119

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Askitas, Nikos & Tatsiramos, Konstantinos & Verheyden, Bertrand, 2020. "Lockdown Strategies, Mobility Patterns and COVID-19," IZA Discussion Papers 13293, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Gao, Xiaoying & Davillas, Apostolos & Jones, Andrew M., 2021. "The COVID-19 Pandemic and Its Impact on Socioeconomic Inequality in Psychological Distress in the UK: An Update," IZA Discussion Papers 14790, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Mars, Lidón & Arroyo, Rosa & Ruiz, Tomás, 2022. "Mobility and wellbeing during the covid-19 lockdown. Evidence from Spain," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 161(C), pages 107-129.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Laura Coroneo & Fabrizio Iacone, 2021. "Testing for equal predictive accuracy with strong dependence," Discussion Papers 21/03, Department of Economics, University of York.
    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. 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.
    4. Wilson, Jessica & Demou, Evangelia & Kromydas, Theocharis, 2024. "COVID-19 lockdowns and working women's mental health: Does motherhood and size of workplace matter? A comparative analysis using understanding society," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 340(C).
    5. Xiaoying Gao & Apostolos Davillas & Andrew M. Jones, 2022. "The Covid‐19 pandemic and its impact on socioeconomic inequality in psychological distress in the United Kingdom: An update," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 31(5), pages 912-920, May.
    6. Nolan, Anne & Smyth, Emer, 2022. "Disrupted transitions: young adults during the COVID-19 pandemic," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number RS142, June.
    7. Gao, Xiaoying & Davillas, Apostolos & Jones, Andrew M., 2021. "The COVID-19 Pandemic and Its Impact on Socioeconomic Inequality in Psychological Distress in the UK: An Update," IZA Discussion Papers 14790, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    8. Linda J. M. Thomson & Neta Spiro & Aaron Williamon & Helen J. Chatterjee, 2023. "The Impact of Culture-, Health- and Nature-Based Engagement on Mitigating the Adverse Effects of Public Health Restrictions on Wellbeing, Social Connectedness and Loneliness during COVID-19: Quantitat," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 20(20), pages 1-26, October.
    9. Colella, Sara & Dufourt, Frédéric & Hildebrand, Vincent A. & Vivès, Rémi, 2023. "Mental health effects of COVID-19 lockdowns: A Twitter-based analysis," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 51(C).
    10. 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).
    11. Gaggero, Alessio & Fernández-Pérez, Ángel & Jiménez-Rubio, Dolores, 2022. "Effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on depression in older adults: A panel data analysis," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 126(9), pages 865-871.
    12. Manuel Serrano‐Alarcón & Alexander Kentikelenis & Martin Mckee & David Stuckler, 2022. "Impact of COVID‐19 lockdowns on mental health: Evidence from a quasi‐natural experiment in England and Scotland," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 31(2), pages 284-296, February.
    13. Etheridge, Ben & Spantig, Lisa, 2022. "The gender gap in mental well-being at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic: Evidence from the UK," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 145(C).
    14. Akay, Alpaslan, 2022. "The local and global mental health effects of the Covid-19 pandemic," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 45(C).
    15. David W. Johnston & Claryn S. J. Kung & Michael A. Shields, 2021. "Who is resilient in a time of crisis? The importance of financial and non‐financial resources," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(12), pages 3051-3073, December.
    16. Madia, Joan E. & Moscone, Francesco & Nicodemo, Catia, 2023. "Studying informal care during the pandemic: mental health, gender and job status," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 50(C).
    17. Burdett, Ashley & Etheridge, Ben & Spantig, Lisa, 2020. "Weather affects mobility but not mental well-being during lockdown," ISER Working Paper Series 2020-13, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    18. Veronika Harantová & Ambróz Hájnik & Alica Kalašová & Tomasz Figlus, 2022. "The Effect of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Traffic Flow Characteristics, Emissions Production and Fuel Consumption at a Selected Intersection in Slovakia," Energies, MDPI, vol. 15(6), pages 1-21, March.
    19. Sonia OREFICCE & Climent Quintana-Domeque, 2021. "Gender inequality in COVID-19 times: evidence from UK prolific participants," JODE - Journal of Demographic Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 87(2), pages 261-287, June.
    20. Jacques Wels, & Booth, Charlotte & Wielgoszewska, Bożena & Green, Michael J. & Di Gessa, Giorgio & Huggins, Charlotte F. & Griffith, Gareth J. & Kwong, Alex S.F. & Bowyer, Ruth C.E. & Maddock, Jane & , 2022. "Mental and social wellbeing and the UK coronavirus job retention scheme: Evidence from nine longitudinal studies," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 308(C).

    More about this item


    mobility; mental health; COVID-19; weather conditions;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp14119. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Holger Hinte (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.