The effects of the COVID-19 lockdown on sleep, physical activity, mental health and daily routines
The current Covid-19 pandemic and associated restrictions have created a unique situation for South Africans. Social or physical distancing, restrictions on movement and interaction with others and the lockdown have resulted in a significant change in the way that we live and work. These changes may also have influenced certain aspects of our daily living and wellbeing, including our work, sleep, physical activity and overall routines. To better understand this impact, researchers from around South Africa have developed an online survey and invite all adults (over the age of 18y) to participate and share their experiences of life under lockdown.
Purpose of the survey
To determine the extent to which the national lockdown in response to the COVID-19 pandemic has influenced lifestyle behaviours such as work, physical activity and sleep, and to examine the interplay between changes in these lifestyle factors with symptoms of anxiety and depression in the general population of South Africa. If any of the questions in this survey cause you discomfort you may contact one of the national mental
health support lines listed below. You may also stop completing the survey. Additionally, you may contact the researchers with any concerns or questions you may have.
We invite adults (aged 18y+) living in South Africa to participate in this online survey. This includes those working in essential services as well as those in isolation. The survey is in English.
The survey asks questions about your home environment, employment status and work routine, and your general health. Thereafter, the survey explores symptoms of depression and anxiety as well as your sleep-wake behaviour and levels of physical activity.
The survey asks you to answer questions under two scenarios:
BEFORE lockdown - this refers to the three months before we went into lockdown (i.e. Jan, Feb and Mar 2020)
DURING lockdown - this refers to the 5 weeks of Level 5 lockdown (27 March to 30 April)
In total, the survey should take no longer than 20 to 25 minutes to complete. No personal information will be required in any of the answers to the questions so you will not be personally identifiable in any reports. All of the data collected from this survey will be stored and handled confidentially by the research team only. The data may also be kept for use in future research. The anonymity of this data will be maintained.
Please take note of the following in relation to your rights to participating in this survey:
- You are under no obligation to participate in this survey.
- None of the information you provide in the survey will be linked to you, as such you and your answers will be anonymous
- If you decide to participate, you have the right to:
- Stop answering questions and withdraw from the survey at any time
- Ask any questions about the survey to the researchers.
Please consider this information carefully before consenting to participate.
For support regarding mental health please contact:
The South African Depression and Anxiety Group
For counselling queries:
For suicide emergencies: 0800 567 567
24hr helpline: 0800 456 789
Lifeline 24hr national counselling: 0861 322 322
If you have any further questions or would like feedback from the researchers about the survey, you may contact the research team as per the details listed below:
Dr Jonathan Davy
Department of Human Kinetics and Ergonomics
Phone: 046 603 8693
The study has been cleared by the Rhodes University Ethical Standards Committee (reference number: 2020-1459-3468). Should you have any concerns, please feel free to contact the Ethics Coordinator, Mr Siyanda Manqele by email at
or by phone 046 603 7727. Mr Manqele is located in the Admin Building, Drostdy Road, Grahamstown, 6139 PO Box 94, Grahamstown, 6140, South Africa
If you wish to take this survey, and in doing so, consent to participate in this research study, please click ‘Next’ to begin answering questions.
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