A recent study conducted by Borderless Access about the impact of COVID-19 on future healthcare consultation scenario, including pre-travel healthcare consultation, found that patient behaviour and habits were significantly varied from country to country. This highlighted the notable influence of culture and social and economic realities on behaviour related to personal health.
To explore this further, we conducted another survey in the US to understand how habits and behaviour related to health and hygiene have been influenced by the pandemic and how they differ from the rest of the world.
Has the pandemic made people health conscious?
The majority of US citizens (50%) believe that they have turned more health and hygiene conscious as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is in line with the average global response, which stands at 63%. At the same time, 34% of US respondents said they have not had to change since they were considerably health and hygiene conscious even before the current situation.
Going the extra mile to stay healthy
When it comes to making healthy choices in terms of food consumption and related activities in response to the pandemic, the average US citizen falls slightly behind the global average, while still making the same choices as people from other parts of the world.
For instance, a large number of people in the US have started consuming more vegetables and fruits, eating home-cooked and immunity boosting food and are working out for longer or more frequently. However, the numbers are lower than the global average. At the same time, more people in the US have started taking vitamin supplements than the global average.
The pandemic has not resulted in a significant change in diet practices followed by the Americans. Only 8% of our respondents said they have or are planning to turn vegan or vegetarian due as a direct response to COVID-19.
Working out during the pandemic
Staying fit and exercising during the pandemic has become a matter of self-reliance and discipline in the US since the majority of people have stopped going to the gym, even when precautionary measures against COVID are in place. Most people have turned to working out at home along with other members of the house, be it family or friends. An almost equally large number of people have adopted to going on outdoor runs or walks and cycling during the pandemic. A small, but significant minority are also making use of exercising with friends and family through video calls.
Is mental health on people’s minds?
Adverse effect on mental health due to the pandemic, either directly due to COVID-19 stress or because of lockdowns and reduced interactions with others, requires attention, as recognized by WHO. Staying mentally healthy is as important as keeping one’s body fit and fortunately, this reflects to a significant degree in responses from our US respondents. Roughly half of all our respondents in the US said that they have either started mental health exercises such as meditation or are focusing more on mental health than before. At the same time, 51% of them said they do not focus on mental health.
From a brand’s perspective, the study reveals that the average American is taking similar measures to stay healthier during the pandemic as the average global citizen. This includes, taking basic steps such as drinking more water and eating healthy home cooked food. A significant number of people have also started consuming immunity boosting food and vitamin supplements. Notably, despite the availability of fast internet and a host of fitness apps, people using these services are relatively fewer, which points to significant opportunity for growth in this area. We also observe that mental health is taken seriously by a significant number of people.
With rapidly changing market dynamics and consumer behaviour it is paramount for brands and businesses to gain reliable insights that are near real-time and actionable to grow and succeed.
Connect with Borderless Access to help you with all your data-collection and research needs unhindered by this pandemic.
You can also read about the behaviour of consumers in the UK and Germany vs consumers in the US with this study.