Will Aussies be able to shake off new home-bound habits?

18 May 2020

A national survey of home habits by Bankwest reveals how Australians are occupying themselves during COVID-19 restrictions and suggests the economy will not be alone in needing a restart.

The survey collected the responses of almost 1000 Australians, including customers and non-customers, and showed marked increases in screen time, food and alcohol consumption.

The results revealed people were significantly more engaged in activities like video streaming (59%) and TV viewing (51%), while 38 per cent were exercising less through COVID-19.

There were also marked upticks in internet (55%) and social media (56%) usage, while 47 per cent said they were playing video games more, with 44 per cent doing more online shopping.

The increase in sedentary activities was coupled with rises in food and alcohol consumption, with 37 per cent eating more and a quarter of people (26%) having increased their drinking.

However, while COVID-19 preventative measures impacted people’s exercise regimes, the results suggested walking had become a replacement, with 43 per cent of people going for more strolls.

The findings reinforce Bankwest’s latest Spend Trends data, which showed a 100 per cent decline in merchant turnover in spending at gyms and sport clubs and an increase in liquor sales.

Bankwest Chief Customer Officer Paul Vivian said: “The wellbeing of customers, colleagues and the community is our top priority and we know this pandemic has impacted many people.

“It’ll be interesting to see if – and how quickly – people resume previous routines as restrictions ease, with our Spend Trends data already showing spending rebounding in some sectors.

“More than half of the respondents in this survey said their employment had been impacted, while we know restrictions have obviously required people to spend more time at home.

“So, the results help us understand the ways in which people’s general wellbeing have been affected and how they’ve have adapted to the uncertainty and change of COVID-19.

“These findings also highlight the need for businesses to focus on helping their customers become more comfortable with using digital services from the safety of their home.”

About Bankwest
Bankwest’s vision is to deliver brilliant customer experiences that matter and our purpose is to improve the financial wellbeing of our customers and communities. Bankwest provides personal and business banking solutions for more than 1.1 million customers across Australia. Our customers enjoy access to an extensive network of branches and business centres, direct and third-party distribution channels, agencies and electronic banking facilities, as well as 24-hour banking on the telephone, internet and the Bankwest App. Bankwest, a division of Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124 AFSL/Australian credit license 234945.

Survey findings

Screen time
Activity Doing less (%) Doing about the same (%) Doing more (%) Net change (%)
Streaming video content 3 38 59 56
Surfing the internet 3 42 55 52
Browsing social media 4 40 56 52
Watching TV 6 43 51 46
Playing video games 10 43 47 37
Online shopping 11 45 44 32
Health and fitness
Activity Doing less (%) Doing about the same (%) Doing more (%) Net change (%)
8 55 37 29
Drinking alcohol
17 57 26 9
Taking recreational drugs
22 52 26 9
Walks outside
26 31 43 18
10 43 47 37
Online shopping 38 38 24 -14
About the survey
The survey was conducted by Bankwest Ideas Lab Community, with 955 respondents from across Australia, comprising of customers and non-customers. The Bankwest Ideas Lab Community requires respondents to opt-in for participation and, as such, is not representative of the general population. Data has not been weighted.

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