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Weather, psychological wellbeing and mobility during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic

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  • Burdett, Ashley
  • Davillas, Apostolos
  • Etheridge, Ben

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Burdett, Ashley & Davillas, Apostolos & Etheridge, Ben, 2021. "Weather, psychological wellbeing and mobility during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic," GLO Discussion Paper Series 785, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:785
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    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. 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).
    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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
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    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.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    COVID-19; mental health; mobility; 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

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