We are conducting a large-scale on-line survey to develop an initial picture of the immediate changes to everyday routine experienced by UK households while social distancing measures are in place (particularly with regards to food-related routines, exercise and home working).
A follow-up survey will be developed to understand the longevity of changes once social distancing measures are relaxed. This survey forms part of our broader programme of work within the CASTand aims to understand what can be learnt from the experiences of societal scale disruption to inform future efforts to guide behaviour change (for example, to respond to climate change).
Existing research illustrates that everyday routines are deeply important to understanding the sustainability of society. For example, hygiene practices have implications for domestic water and energy use as well as the circulation of single-use plastics. Achieving sustainable, low-carbon societies requires extensive changes to everyday routines and the systems of provision that support them.
Consequently, there is substantial interest in ‘Moments of Change’ as instances when ordinary routines become unsettled and there are opportunities for alternative, more sustainable, routines to emerge. One form a ‘moment of change’ might take is a disruption, and given that the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic is a disruption of global scale with unprecedented impacts on everyday life, it is essential that research is undertaken while social distancing measures remain in place to obtain an accurate picture of everyday life.
The rapidity of societal transformation at this time, such as the closure of businesses and the limited access to essential services, has profound impacts on how people live and work. It has also sparked rapid and deep adaptation of ordinary activity. Social distancing measures have led to people abstaining from previously regular practices, or altering and substituting them (for example to change how food is purchased and eaten). Furthermore, the experiences of coronavirus and social distancing is highly diverse, with differentiated impacts depending on the nature of employment, age, and relative wealth.
Would you like to get involved? Click here to complete the survey. You can also sign up to our newsletter below to find out what we learned and how these findings can be used.