Researchers track impact of lockdown on alcohol, gambling and pornography use

Man using internet  Credit: iAmMrRob

Is the lockdown leading us to drink more alcohol or spend more time gambling online or watching pornography? Researchers have launched a survey aimed at tracking how our habits have changed in response to our forced isolation.

The UK was first placed on lockdown in response to the coronavirus pandemic on 23 March. Only essential businesses were allowed to remain open and everyone was told to stay at home, only to venture out for exercise and shopping.

Almost overnight, people’s lives were up-ended, with some people working from home while others have lost their jobs or been furloughed. People who live by themselves have suddenly found themselves with no social contact other than virtual.

To find out what impact this has had on people’s behaviour, Dr Valerie Voon from the University of Cambridge and Prof Henrietta Bowden-Jones, Director of the National Problem Gambling Clinic, London, have launched an online survey, HabiT – Habit Tracker – asking about changes in habits during lockdown, specifically quantifying alcohol, smoking, and online use of gambling, gaming and pornography.  The habit tracker survey is available online. All responses will be anonymous.

The survey is short, only taking 10 minutes to complete. The researchers are keen to hear from both those people who do not consider themselves to be vulnerable or exhibit problem behaviours and those who have struggled in the past or are struggling now.

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Image:  Man using internet

Credit: iAmMrRob

Reproduced courtesy of the University of Cambridge


The University of Cambridge is acknowledged as one of the world's leading higher education and research institutions. The University was instrumental in the formation of the Cambridge Network and its Vice- Chancellor, Professor Stephen Toope, is also the President of the Cambridge Network.

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