New research has found that nearly 7 in 10 people will avail of a vaccine for COVID-19 if and when it becomes available.
The research, which was commissioned by Virgin Media Ireland and conducted independently by Amárach Research, also found that 82% of people say they have already downloaded or will download the Government’s recently launched COVID-19 tracker app.
Two thousand people aged 18 and upwards took part in the survey in mid-July across all regions of the country.
The findings indicate that people have relied heavily on broadband to support their physical and mental health while staying at home during the ongoing public health crisis.
The majority say they have been using the internet more regularly for health related information and support.
While 80% said their physical health remained good during the pandemic, approximately 4 in 10 people felt that their mental health ranged from poor to middling during the current pandemic and recent lockdown.
· 20% of those surveyed gave a specifically low rating for their mental health with others rating their mental wellbeing as average (17%) and the remainder saying they felt very good / excellent (63%).
· Using the Internet as a resource, 22% of respondents also said they had accessed content on blogs and websites about mental health and wellbeing while 14% watched videos providing mental health advice, support and coping skills.
· 14% of people said they had consulted either their doctor, another health professional and/or received counselling, coaching or support services, in relation to their mental health, using online video meeting technology. Indicating the continuing potential for this use of technology, 37% said they are likely or highly likely to seek consultation or support in this way in the future.
· The research found a strong correlation among those who said that both their physical and mental health had stayed resilient during the crisis to date, providing a pointer to the importance of exercise and good physical health as a contributory factor in boosting mental health.
· It found that people are intent on staying fit, no matter the circumstances with nearly two-thirds (65%) taking part in live, online fitness and training classes more often then they usually would and 30% saying this will continue in the future.
· Half of all respondents said they had accessed a mix of videos, podcasts, blogs and social media specifically to support their wellbeing during the lockdown, with 40% saying they would continue to watch online videos and listen to podcasts about diet, health and fitness.
· 60% said they also participated more often in online competitions against family, friends and colleagues regarding their health, using Internet connected devices (like Fitbit or others) to count steps walked and other fitness challenges, with 30% saying this will continue.
Paul Higgins, Vice-President, Virgin Media Ireland said that the current crisis has created a lot of stress for many people.
“It’s clear that broadband has role to play in supporting ongoing resilience and wellbeing, helping people stay connected to health and fitness related activities, access information they need to stay well and, most importantly staying in regular contact with people in their own families and in the wider community, whether that’s social or work related.
“Households have been using our high speed broadband more than ever before as millions have stayed at home while staying connected to loved ones and the activities they enjoy.
“There has been a surge in video usage across the Virgin Media network with upstream traffic increasing by 73%.
“With a 52% increase in connected devices we’re seeing more people in the home using the internet for more activities including fitness wearables.
“The research shows more people engaging with live fitness classes taking place over zoom and other platforms which is also driving some of this increase.
“We’ve designed our network to cope with the different patterns of usage our customers need to live their lives in these new and different circumstances.
“Broadband and connectivity have a key role to play in the country’s ongoing renewal, recovery and future continuing success and we’ll continue to help customers in making connections that really matter to them,” he said.