NEW YORK Sept 25, 2020 – Americans are responding to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic by making positive lifestyle changes that they expect to continue long term, according to a national survey by Parade/Cleveland Clinic. The third annual Healthy Now survey shows that 18- to 34-year-olds were the most likely demographic to adopt new healthy behaviors in many categories. However, the survey also revealed significant mental health challenges, particularly stress, anxiety and depression issues, brought on by the pandemic among survey respondents. The full survey findings are featured online at Parade.com/normal
Key findings from the summer 2020 survey:
SURPRISING POSITIVES AMID CHALLENGES
- Forging family connections: 78% agree that quarantine has made them value their relationships, with 34% saying they feel closer to their families
- Taking stock: 65% say the pandemic has made them reevaluate how they spend their time and 58% say the pandemic has made them reevaluate their life goals
- Finding meaning: 56% say their experiences during the pandemic have strengthened their spiritual beliefs
- Connecting in the kitchen: 65% report that they’re cooking more at home, with 85% saying they’ll continue.
“Almost 60% of respondents’ lives have been changed for good,” says Lisa Delaney, SVP/chief content officer of Parade Media. “While people are clearly struggling with the effects of the pandemic, our results show that they’re also discovering new ways of living—of connecting with each other, of managing stress, of finding joy wherever they can—that they want to carry with them into the future.”
EMBRACING PREVENTIVE HEALTH MEASURES
- 62% of all people have adopted some type of healthy lifestyle change since the onset of the pandemic. That percentage jumps to 78% among 18- to 34-year-olds
- 34% report eating more healthy foods, with 87% of those expecting to continue this habit in the long term
- 68% of people are paying more attention to risk factors for health concerns including chronic diseases, mental health issues and lung health; 77% of 18- to 34-year-olds reported doing so
- One-in-four of all Americans (26%) say they are more likely to get a flu vaccine this year compared to getting the vaccine in 2019. Among 18- to 34-year-olds, the percentage was higher at 35%
“In a time when we need to be able to focus in on keeping ourselves as healthy as we can, we must not skip preventive visits to our healthcare providers. When we miss early signs of disease, we allow it to grow into a serious or even life-threatening illnesses,” said Kristin Englund, M.D., an infectious disease physician at Cleveland Clinic. “Our clinics and hospitals are taking every precaution available to assure patients are safe from COVID-19 within our walls. We cannot let fear of one disease keep us from doing what we need to do to stay healthy.”
FEAR, CONFUSION TAKING WIDESPREAD TOLL ON MENTAL HEALTH
- 55% of all adults and 74% of 18- to 34-year-olds report experiencing mental health issues since the onset of the pandemic, including stress, anxiety, depression, and loneliness/isolation
- 41% of all people and 52% of 18- to 34-year-olds reported being so overwhelmed by information on the pandemic that they’ve stopped paying attention
- Another surge of COVID-19 (59%) and another pandemic/quarantine (44%) are the biggest concerns among total respondents, followed by fears about personal financial situation (34%)
ON HOLD TILL 2021
- 78% say they will not spend holidays as they normally do with only 9% anticipating attending holiday church services, and 12% anticipating attending parades or New Year’s Eve firework celebrations
- Americans are also putting common personal interactions on hold: 78% say they will not shake hands with people through the end of the year while only 13% say they will hug a non-family member
“Despite the very real health risks of this virus and the almost complete disruption to Americans’ day-to-day lives, 72% of those surveyed say they remain hopeful for the future,” Delaney says. “These results show how we are discovering our resiliency and finding healthy ways to cope in extreme circumstances.”
Find full Parade/Cleveland Clinic Healthy Now survey results and related content at Parade.com/normal. Video coverage of the results also can be found on Parade’s YouTube TMI Show.
Cleveland Clinic News Service is available to provide broadcast-quality interviews and B-roll upon request.
About the Parade/Cleveland Clinic Healthy Now Survey
A joint online survey by Parade Media and Cleveland Clinic of 1,000 Americans,18 to 65 years of age, living in the continental United States, completed in June 2020. The credibility interval for the total sample is +/- 2.5 percentage points.