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

Ashley Burdett, Apostolos Davillas () and Ben Etheridge ()
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Ashley Burdett: University of Essex
Ben Etheridge: University of Essex

No 14119, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

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.

Keywords: mobility; mental health; COVID-19; weather conditions (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C23 I10 I12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 15 pages
Date: 2021-02
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-env, nep-eur and nep-hea
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Published - revised version published as 'Weather, mental health, and mobility during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic' in: Health Economics, 2021, 30 (9), 2296-2306

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