4940.0 - Household Impacts of COVID-19 Survey, 29 Apr - 4 May 2020  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 18/05/2020   
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Lifestyle changes

Key findings

During the period early-April to early-May:

  • One in five Australians (22%) said they were eating more snack foods such as chips, lollies, and biscuits; and
  • Three in five Australians (58%) reported more time spent in front of their television, computer, phone, or other device.

Consumption habits

The survey asked respondents if their consumption of selected products had changed over the period early-April to early-May due to COVID-19, and if so, how it had changed. These include:
  • Fruit and vegetables;
  • Take-away or delivered meals;
  • Snack foods;
  • Alcohol; and
  • Vitamins, minerals, or other supplements.

One in five Australians (22%) said they were eating more snack foods such as chips, lollies, and biscuits.

A similar proportion of Australians reported an increase in alcohol consumption (14%) and fruit and vegetable consumption (13%), while one in ten (10%) reported taking more vitamins, minerals or other supplements.

The product category that experienced the largest decrease in consumption was take-away or delivered meals, with 29% of Australians reporting less frequent consumption over this period due to COVID-19.

Persons aged 18 years and over, Proportion that increased their consumption of selected products in the last four weeks, By sex
Graph image for persons aged 18 years and over, proportion that increased their consumption of selected products in the last four weeks, by sex
Commonwealth of Australia 2020

Persons aged 18 years and over, Proportion that increased their consumption of selected products in the last four weeks, By age
Graph image for persons aged 18 years and over, proportion that increased their consumption of selected products in the last four weeks, by age
Commonwealth of Australia 2020

Activities

The survey also asked respondents if their participation in certain activities had increased, decreased or stayed the same, as a way to cope with COVID-19 restrictions during the period early-April to early-May. These included:
  • Household chores;
  • Time with pets;
  • Exercise of other physical activity;
  • Online shopping/spending;
  • Personal screen time;
  • Hobbies; and
  • Cooking or baking.

Changes to personal screen time was the most widely reported change, with three in five Australians (58%) increasing their participation in screen-based activities involving a television, computer, phone, or other device.

Other activities that many Australians increased their participation in during this period include:
  • Household chores, gardening, yard work, projects or renovations (41% increased their participation);
  • Hobbies e.g. art, craft, board games, puzzles, video games or reading (39% increased their participation); and
  • Cooking or baking (38% increased their participation) – including half of women (48%) and around a quarter of men (28%).

While roughly half of all Australians (54%) reported no change to their levels of participation in exercise or other physical activity, one in four (25%) increased their level of exercise or other physical activity, and one in five (20%) decreased their level of exercise or other physical activity.

Persons aged 18 years and over, Proportion that increased their participation in selected activities in the last four weeks, By sex
Graph image for persons aged 18 years and over, proportion that increased their participation in selected activities in the last four weeks, by sex
Commonwealth of Australia 2020

Persons aged 18 years and over, Proportion that increased their participation in selected activities in the last four weeks, By age
Graph image for persons aged 18 years and over, proportion that increased their participation in selected activities in the last four weeks, by age
Commonwealth of Australia 2020