Vol. 15 No. 1 (2022): Winter of Variants

A Survey of COVID-19 Pandemic-related lockdown on the Lifestyle of Secondary School Students in the UK

Published 2022-01-23


  • Coronavirus, COVID-19, Secondary school students, Lifestyle, physical, mental

How to Cite

Kumaresan, N., & Kumaresan, S. (2022). A Survey of COVID-19 Pandemic-related lockdown on the Lifestyle of Secondary School Students in the UK. Sushruta Journal of Health Policy & Opinion, 15(1), 1–6. https://doi.org/10.38192/15.1.5


Background: We explored the impact of COVID-19 pandemic imposed lockdown on the lifestyle (physical, mental, dietary habits, development of new skills and behaviour) of secondary school students in an urban state all-girls school in Birmingham, United Kingdom.

Methods: An online survey using Google forms distributed online via the School Newsletter - comprising 40 questions on sleep, dietary habits, physical activity, mental health, new skills and COVID-19 symptoms. Responses were sought from pupils in school years 7-12, corresponding to age 11-18 years, (approximately 1099 students).

Results: There were 102 responses received, a response rate of 10%.

  • Sleep - students slept for an additional two and half hours during lockdown, and 90 minutes extra during the period of attending school online.
  • Physical activities – compared to 3-hours a day during regular school time, mean daily physical activity dropped to 1-3 hours per week for 60% of students during lockdown, which were mainly home workouts, walking and cycling.
  • Skills – while 54% reported deterioration in academic performance, 33% learnt a new skill such as baking or a new language.
  • Mood - one third of students felt negative and 45% felt more argumentative.
  • Food & shopping - majority (60%) reported both increased snacking as well as fresh fruit consumption. 30% families had changed to online grocery shopping. 1 in 5 students reported the need to ration their food.
  • Covid-19 symptoms – 1 in 4 students reported symptoms of COVID-19 infection

Conclusion:  Our results presents a mixed picture; there is a positive impact on sleep, learning new skills and change in diet; also an adverse impact on reduced physical activity, academic performance, mood, social interactions and the economic necessity to ration food. More information is needed to explore the longer term impact of the pandemic on education, health and the interventions that may mitigate this.  


  1. Office for National Statistics : September- December 2020:Coronavirus and the impact on students in higher education in England:
  2. Dunton et al: Early effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on physical activity and sedentary behavior in children living in the U.S; BMC. BMC Public Health (2020) 20:1351
  3. Rajmil L, Hjern A, Boran P, et al. Impact of lockdown and school closure on children’s health and well-being during the first wave of COVID-19: a narrative review. BMJ Paediatrics Open 2021;5: e001043. doi:10.1136/ bmjpo-2021-001043
  4. King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Girls: https://www.kechg.org.uk/_site/data/files/admissions/38DFDA0D0EEB7B5319DAE73204A65FBC.pdf (was 4 but changed it to 5 – citations not in correct order??)
  5. Birmingham City Council, Kings Heath and Brandwood Fact Sheet: file:///C:/Users/mailr/Downloads/Brandwood_and_Kings_Heath_Profile%20(1).pdf
  6. Gov.uk, What qualification levels mean, <https://www.gov.uk/what-different-qualification-levels-mean/list-of-qualification-levels>
  7. SARS-CoV-2 infection and transmission in educational settings: a prospective, cross-sectional analysis of infection clusters and outbreaks in England; Lancet Infect Dis 2021; 21: 344–53
  8. 8.ONS COVID-19 Schools Infection Survey <https://www.ons.gov.uk/file?uri=%2fpeoplepopulationandcommunity%2fhealthandsocialcare%2fconditionsanddiseases%2fdatasets%2fcovid19schoolsinfectionsurvey%2fround6pupilantibodyjune2021/schoolsinfectionsurveydatasets20211027.xlsx>
  9. 9. Office of National Statistics, COVID-19 Schools Infection Survey, England: Round 6, June 2021, <https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/bulletins/covid19schoolsinfectionsurveyengland/round6june2021>
  10. Rajmil L. Role of children in the transmission of the COVID-19 pandemic: a rapid scoping review. BMJ Paediatrics Open 2020;4: e000722. doi:10.1136/ bmjpo-2020-000722
  11. Lu X, Zhang L, Du H, et al. SARS-CoV-2 infection in children. N Engl J Med 2020;382:1663–5
  12. World Health Organization. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): situation report — 50 (https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200310-sitrep-50-covid-19.pdf?sfvrsn=55e904fb)
  13. Luca Cristiani, Enrica Mancino, Luigi Matera, Raffaella Nenna, Alessandra Pierangeli, Carolina Scagnolari, Fabio Midulla, Will children reveal their secret? The coronavirus dilemma: European Respiratory Journal Apr 2020, 55 (4) 2000749; DOI: 10.1183/13993003.00749-2020:
  14. A roundup of the latest data and trends about the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic from the ONS and other sources, 28 September 2021