Impact of COVID-19 Stay-at-Home Orders on Health Behaviors and Anxiety in Black and White Americans
BACKGROUND: In the United States (US), the incidence and severity of COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations, and deaths are higher in Black compared to White residents. Systemic inequities and differences in health behaviors may contribute to disparities in COVID-19 health outcomes. The aim of this study was to examine the impact of COVID-19 stay-at-home orders on changes in health behaviors and anxiety in Black and White adults residing in the US. METHODS: Beginning April 2020, the Pennington Biomedical Research Center COVID-19 Health Behaviors Study collected information on changes to employment, income, diet, physical activity, anxiety, and sleep patterns through a global online survey. RESULTS: Of 4542 survey respondents in the US, 7% identified as Black and 93% as White. Prior to the COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, a greater proportion of Blacks compared to Whites reported earning < US$50,000 per year (p < 0.0001). A greater proportion of Blacks reported being laid off, working fewer hours, and working from home following COVID-19 stay-at-home orders (p < 0.0001 for all). In the overall sample, eating behaviors improved, physical activity decreased, sleep time prolonged, and anxiety heightened following COVID-19 stay-at-home orders (p < 0.01 for all), which were universal between Black and White respondents (p ≥ 0.315 for all). CONCLUSIONS: This study highlights the disproportionate changes to employment and income in Blacks, with no differential impact on health behaviors and anxiety compared to Whites due to COVID-19 stay-at-home orders. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, disproportionate changes to employment and income status may widen among Blacks and Whites, which may influence health behaviors and anxiety.
Publication Source (Journal or Book title)
Journal of racial and ethnic health disparities
Sparks, J. R., Kebbe, M., Flanagan, E. W., Beyl, R. A., Altazan, A. D., Yang, S., & Redman, L. M. (2022). Impact of COVID-19 Stay-at-Home Orders on Health Behaviors and Anxiety in Black and White Americans. Journal of racial and ethnic health disparities, 9 (5), 1932-1936. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40615-021-01131-3