Health trends during the pandemic

Study Reveals Health Habits During the Pandemic

It’s been a year since the Covid-19 pandemic began – a year marked by indescribable tragedy and relentless disruption of routines for nearly every American and billions of people around the globe.

No doubt, we’re persevering, we’re making it through. As spring approaches and we reflect on new beginnings, it’s time to reflect on the bad habits many of us have picked up along the way. Millions of Americans have spent this past year cooped up indoors, working from their couches, wearing pajamas, and stress snacking. In some respects, it was the only way to get through this.

In the interest of self-knowledge, and setting intentions for our best, healthiest year yet, we’ve surveyed more than 2,022 Americans about their unhealthy (and healthy) habits during the 2020 pandemic. Seventy-four percent of respondents say they wish they’d taken better care of themselves this past year, including many admitting to sub-par skincare. The most common reason cited for unhealthy habits? The emotional toll. Stress and anxiety.

The good news, of those who say they should have taken better care of themselves, 61 percent have already started to make progress towards healthier lifestyles.

Unhealthy habits and weight gain statistics Covid-19 pandemic

Not surprisingly, much of the attention is on weight gain. Sixty-one percent of respondents said they’ve gained weight during the pandemic, at an average of ten pounds per person. That’s no small thing, particularly for people who were already overweight. Let’s not forget that obesity is one of the primary comorbidities with Covid-19.

We asked people why they think they gained weight. The reasons are unsurprising, but not always as simple as eating more and moving less. For example, one in five people said part of their weight gain was due to not feeling the pressure of having to see other people in social situations.

Unhealthy habits and weight gain statistics Covid-19 pandemic

Looking beyond weight gain, in particular, we asked people about a broad range of unhealthy behaviors known to correlate with the unique pressures of life during the pandemic. By far, the lack of time spent moving outdoors has been the biggest culprit, and unfortunately for many of us in the northern part of the country, that will continue to be a challenge for at least several more weeks.

One of the peskier bad habits we asked about is poor posture, which more than half of respondents say they’ve suffered from, likely while making the switch from in-office workstations to more improvised spaces in their homes.

Unhealthy habits and weight gain statistics Covid-19 pandemic

Of course, not everyone fell apart during the pandemic. Some took the opportunity to make positive changes in their lives. While bad habits were more prevalent on the whole, a significant number of people bucked those trends and emerged all the better. Notably, 41 percent of people we surveyed say they’ve gotten more sleep than before the pandemic.

Unhealthy habits and weight gain statistics Covid-19 pandemic

In addition to exploring healthy and unhealthy habits, we were quite curious about trends in appearance, grooming, and morning routines. We’re certainly not the only ones to notice a collective loosening up when it comes to how people present themselves. Seventy-seven percent of the people we surveyed say they’ve noticed a trend towards more casual looks, and 61 percent who work remotely report they feel less pressure to be presentable than they did in-office.

Unhealthy habits and weight gain statistics Covid-19 pandemic

Digging into the details on these low-maintenance looks, we asked people where specifically they’re cutting corners relative to their pre-pandemic routines. Fortunately, only 14 percent have been slacking on oral hygiene (ick). The part of our routines most impacted is the attention paid to outfits. In short, people are keeping it simple and not sweating the details.

Unhealthy habits and weight gain statistics Covid-19 pandemic

Finally, we asked those who have transitioned from commuting to working remotely, about the glorious time they’ve earned back at the beginning of their workdays. For some, it’s quite a dramatic change. Many people are saving five to 10 hours a week just in the morning.

Bless our hearts, the number one way we’re using the time saved is by sleeping longer. If you’re looking for a silver lining to emerge from all this madness, there it is. Deep sleepers, we salute you!

Unhealthy habits and weight gain statistics Covid-19 pandemic


From January 19 – 27, 2021, we surveyed 2,022 Americans about their lifestyles during the Covid-19 pandemic. The gender of our respondents was 56 percent female and 44 percent male, with an average age of 39 years old and an age range of 18 to 68 years old.

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