The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic has turned everyone’s lives upside down. Our households have transformed into our offices, homes and gyms all rolled into one. Weekly catch ups in the boardroom have become Zoom chats with partners, pets and children wandering around in the background. Daily gym workouts have been taken over by PE with Joe Wicks. Wild Saturday nights have now become boozy quizzes over House Party.

In response to government advice, people are spending much more time inside in order to slow the spread of the virus. A Populus survey conducted on behalf of the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) asked respondents if they have experienced or been engaging in a range of things whilst spending more time at home than usual.

With gyms closed and weekly classes cancelled, we found 28% of people have said they have done less physical activity whilst being stuck in lockdown, despite the rise in online home workouts. A third of respondents (34%) also said they’ve been eating more unhealthy foods as well.

For some, not being able to go out and interact with others will have an impact on their mental health. It will mean having to change daily routine and look for alternatives to keep life as normal as possible. For others there will be added anxiety and stress around job security and financial wellbeing. We found that 63% of people have been feeling more anxious about what the future holds since the outbreak of the virus.

‘In in’ is the ‘out out’

With millions of people forced to stay away from pubs, clubs and restaurants in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus, people have been looking for more creative means to stay connected with friends and family. Within companies and households across the world, more and more people have been using Zoom to organise meetings, virtual pub quizzes and birthday parties. In March of this year Zoom reported that over 200 million people were using their service, up from 10 million in December. The rise in social technology has meant that people have felt more connected (31%) feel more connected to friends and family during the lockdown. The app Houseparty has also become a firm favourite in recent months. Even though it was launched in 2016, with its increased popularity, it has become the most-downloaded free app in the UK.

Looking to the future

It is difficult to say what life will look like after the crisis has passed, but for the time being this is the normal we have to live with. All we can do is stay inside, binge-watch the latest Netflix shows, and wait for society to slowly get back to ‘normal’, whatever that may look like.

View data tables here.



Populus conducted an online sample of 2,094 UK adults (18+) between 3rd – 5th April 2020. Data is weighted to be representative of the population of Great Britain. Populus is a founder member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. For further information, see