MONTREAL -- A pair of surveys from the Quebec Institute of Public Health suggest that during the COVID-19 pandemic, Quebecers are in front of screens more, eating more junk food and having a harder time sleeping well, while at the same time, many Quebecers continue to hold private gatherings with people they don't live with despite public health guidelines.


A survey asking citizens about their adherence to health measures found that most are following public health authorities' directives, but that many are still skirting various rules.

For those 35 per cent of people who admitted to visiting other bubbles or having people over in the past seven days, 18 to 24-year-olds were most likely (44 per cent) followed by those 25 to 44 years old (42 per cent).

Twelve per cent of those surveyed also said they practiced sports indoors, and 13 per cent have travelled to another region of Quebec within the week despite the province's leaders urging its citizens to avoid both practices.

Almost one-in-five people (18 per cent) also said they have hugged someone they don't live with in the past week.

Overall, 19 per cent said they "sometimes" avoid private gatherings with multiple people they don't live with, six per cent said they "sometimes" do, and two per cent said they "never" avoid gatherings.

These numbers come despite 35 per cent of respondants saying they considered themselves at risk of contracting COVID-19.

The INSPQ reported that around 6,600 people responded to this survey.


Another INSPQ study found 45 per cent of Quebecers are more concerned about their weight than they were before the pandemic and that almost a third (28 per cent) are eating more junk food.

Unsurprisingly, almost two-thirds of those surveyed (64 per cent) said their screen time has increased.

However, 22 per cent of those surveyed said they are eating more fruit and vegetables.

When it comes to physical exercise, 38 per cent said their physical activities have decreased, while 21 per cent said they have increased during the health crisis.

Sleep, predictably, has also been affected by the crisis with 36 per cent of respondents saying the quality of their sleep has diminished.

This lack of quality sleep is seen most in 18 to 24-year-olds with 46 per cent saying they haven't been getting a good night's sleep during the pandemic.  

The INSPQ said around 3,300 adults have responded weekly to the 60-question survey since July 1.