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Mental health and health-related behaviours during the COVID-19 pandemic

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Released: 2020-05-12

COVID-19 has changed our lives and Canadians have had to quickly adapt to new routines in the wake of this new reality.

We asked Canadians what they were doing for their health during this period and over 4,600 replied from March 29 to April 3.

Almost one-third of respondents reported very good mental health (31.3%) and over one-quarter reported good mental health (28.3%). Those reporting excellent mental health (22.6%) outnumbered those reporting fair or poor mental health (17.7%).

The vast majority (92.4%) of respondents have reached out to family or friends to maintain their health over this period.

About three in five respondents were doing physical exercise to maintain their health, either outdoors (63.2%) or indoors (60.5%). Those with better mental health were more likely to have exercised than those with fair/poor mental health.

Over one-third of respondents had changed their food choices (37.7%) and one-quarter practiced meditation (26.3%) for health reasons.

  Note to readers

Data in this release are from Statistics Canada's new Canadian Perspectives Survey Series (CPSS), wave 1, in which a panel of Canadians aged 15 and older agreed to complete a number of short online surveys. The CPSS is a probabilistic panel survey and is therefore representative of the general population. More than 4,600 people in the provinces responded to this survey from March 29 to April 3, 2020.

Canadians were asked whether they were doing any of the following activities for their health: communication with friends and family; meditation; exercise outdoors; exercise indoors; changing my food choices. Response categories were "yes, for my mental health"; "yes, for my physical health"; "yes, for both my mental and physical health"; or "no."


For more information, see the article "Self-perceived mental health and health-related behaviours of Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic," released today in the series StatCan COVID-19: Data to Insights for a Better Canada (Catalogue number45280001).

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; or Media Relations (613-951-4636;

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