Study reveals how Brits have been beating boredom during lockdown

It seems we’ve been productive...

lockdown hobbies
(Image credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

A new study has revealed how Brits have been beating boredom during lockdown.

Here’s some heartening news; analysis of Google Trends by stairlift company Stannah (opens in new tab) has uncovered data about a nation that has become increasingly creative, skilled, resourceful and less wasteful as a result of lockdown.

Just some of the diverse skills we’ve decided to try our hands at are sign language, upcycling furniture and the art of mixology.

In March, during the first week of quarantine, searches for ‘sign language courses’ soared to 334% more than the same time last year.

lockdown hobbies

Cocktail making also became a more common activity as people missing out on going out to bars, pubs and restaurants took to replicating their favourite tipples at home.

The search for ‘cocktail recipes’ was 14% higher at the end of May than it was at Christmas 2019 – a period when this search is usually at its peak.

Such was the popularity of cocktail making – made more enticing, no doubt, to the large number of furloughed employees who didn’t have to work on a hangover – that a new word entered the English language: ‘quarantini’. FYI, a 'quarantini' is not a new recipe but any cocktail made in lockdown.

lockdown hobbies

Other Google searches that saw huge spikes were DIY and furniture upcycling projects.

Searches for ‘furniture paint’ rose by 177% in April, year-on-year. In the same month, Google recorded a 138% rise in the search term ‘sandpaper’, compared to the same month in 2019.

Other popular hobbies (opens in new tab) and pastimes have included arts and crafts, baking, playing instruments, working out, knitting (opens in new tab), learning a language, online quizzes, writing and yoga (opens in new tab).

MORE: Discover a new passion with this list of hobbies to do at home (opens in new tab)

Some of us have even taken the opportunity to go back to school – there are many virtual courses, including The Open University (opens in new tab), which offers distance learning, and the University of the Third Age (opens in new tab) (U3A), which was set up specifically for people entering their ‘third age’ – that time in their lives when they’ve stopped working full-time and have finished raising a family.

Let's hope we can carry on our new hobbies once we start to come out of lockdown!

Debra Waters is an experienced online editor and lifestyle writer with a focus on health, wellbeing, beauty, food and parenting. Currently, she writes for the websites and Woman&Home and GoodtoKnow, as well as the Woman, Woman’s Own and Woman’s Weekly magazines. 


Previously, Debra was digital food editor at delicious magazine and MSN. She’s written for M&S Food, Great British Chefs, loveFOOD, What to Expect, Everyday Health and Time Out, and has had articles published in The Telegraph and The Big Issue.