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Activity Participation and wellbeing during the covid-19 lockdown in Spain

Rosa Arroyo, Lidón Mars and Tomás Ruiz

International Journal of Urban Sciences, 2021, vol. 25, issue 3, 386-415

Abstract: On March 14, 2020, the Spanish authorities declared a lockdown to bending the Covid-19 pandemic curve. People were asked to stay at home as much as possible, students were obliged to attend classes on-line, civil servants were also required to tele-work, and any work activity that could be carried out from home was recommended to do so as well. Non-essential activities like theatres, restaurants, gyms, etc., were closed. Only work that could not be carried out at home, grocery shopping, taking care of others, walking the dog, visiting the doctor, do banking, and a few more out-of-home activities were allowed. Out-of-home leisure and social activities were not permitted at all. Such limitations of out-of-home activities could influence the wellbeing of people. The present study aims to analyse the wellbeing of people considering the limitations of out-of-home activities during the lockdown.Data collected through a web-survey from 1,653 participants is studied in this paper. The information analysed is related to the satisfaction of the basic psychological needs (autonomy, competence and relatedness) and positive and negative affect. Activity-travel data and sociodemographic characteristics are also considered. Mann–Whitney U tests, Confirmatory Factor Analyses and Structural Equation models are used to find out differences in the wellbeing of people according to their out-of-home activity characteristics, and how these activity characteristics are associated to the psychological variables studied.Findings suggest that those who mostly spent their out-of-home time working felt slightly better. However, as time working increased, more negative affect and autonomy frustration appeared. On the other hand, more time doing grocery shopping was associated with positive feelings. In general, women felt somewhat worse, and older participants felt a bit better during the lockdown. Employed respondents felt better than their unemployed counterparts. Some lessons are learned to improve urban planning during a pandemic.

Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1080/12265934.2021.1925144

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