WATTS THE MATTER? – STARK NEW RESEARCH SHOWS BRITS MENTAL WELLBEING 'ALL-TIME LOW' ON BLUE MONDAY AMID NATIONAL LOCKDOWN

18/01/2021

National lockdown and remote working mean over half (55%) feel gloomy about spending more time at home this winter, adding their mental health has deteriorated over the pandemic.

With 2020 hailed by many as ‘the worst year ever’, a record number of Britons have said their mental wellbeing is at an all-time low this Blue Monday, a new study has revealed.  
 
According to stark new research by NICEIC, the UK’s leading name for registered electrical contractors, a disturbing two thirds (65%) of Brits have confessed that the shorter days and darker nights this winter are negatively impacting their mental health. 
 
In the midst of another national lockdown, over half (55%) of crisis-weary Brits revealed they felt gloomy about the prospect of spending more time at home this winter, with almost four in ten (38%) saying they felt anxious and fearful, a third (33%) feeling isolated and almost a quarter (24%) feeling burnt out and exhausted.
 
What’s more, with many homebound Brits working from makeshift offices in kitchens or spare bedrooms since last year, poor lighting in the home is making matters worse. Two thirds of respondents (66%) admitted poor home lighting makes them feel more stressed, negatively impacts concentration levels and even their libido. 
 
Luckily, as record spending on home improvements continues, lighting has become a key priority especially as almost one in four (24%) of us believe good home lighting makes us feel better during the winter months. Almost one in three (27%) Brits said good lighting makes them happier and more energetic.
 
In response, and just in time for Blue Monday, the most miserable day of the year, NICEIC has launched its ‘Watts The Matter?’ campaign. The campaign highlights the positive impact brightening up your home with good lighting can have on the nation’s collective mood - while warning the public of the importance of using a registered electrical contractor for any planned electrical work.
 
Paul Collins, NICEIC’s Technical Services Manager, comments: “With 2020 being one of the most challenging years in recent history, it’s unsurprising that just weeks into January, the mental wellbeing of a record number of Brits is at an all-time low this Blue Monday.

“With the national lockdown, the fact that huge swathes of the population are still working from home, often in makeshift offices set up in the kitchen or spare bedroom, is clearly intensifying the detrimental impact poor home lighting can have on mood.

“And while more people are recognising that better home lighting can help them get through the gloomy winter, have-a-go DIY enthusiasts must remember there’s a huge difference between fitting a new energy efficient lamp (lightbulb) and attempting to install a more sophisticated solution, which comes with potential pitfalls around electrical safety.

“As we ask the nation ‘Watts The Matter?’ this winter, our message is simple – investing in good lighting can be a real mood booster. But always use a professional, such as those electrical contractors registered with NICEIC, for any electrical work not only to keep your home and family safe but also to receive the best technical advice and expertise.”

Today’s findings come as a quarter (25%) of homeworkers admitted that the lighting in their home office was either too dark or too light, with just over a half (52%) revealing they regularly suffer from headaches, migraines or eye strain when working. 
 
Despite this, although almost a half (47%) of homeworkers bought a new desk, laptop, screens or printers, just 9% have upgraded their lighting to make their home offices as comfortable as possible.

This looks set to change, however, with around 65% of Brits surveyed saying upgrading lighting is now just as important to their home as painting, laying new carpets, and buying new furniture.

Warning the British public to be extra vigilant on electric safety, Paul adds: “While making your lighting dream a reality has the potential to reinvigorate your wellbeing through the cold dark months, using a professional is the only way to avoid disappointment and truly ensure your new lighting reaches its full potential.”

The survey of 2,000 consumers reveals the nation’s collective weariness this winter, with some surprising disparities: 
  • Brits located in Yorkshire and Humber regions have reported worst deterioration in their mental wellbeing and feel the gloomiest about spending the winter at home
  • Those living in the West Midlands are suffering most from poor lighting, with a fifth (20%) confessing it is making them feel depressed and moody
  • 46% of women said the coronavirus pandemic continues to make them feel anxious//fearful, compared to just 28% of men
  • In terms of mental wellbeing, the pandemic is having the worst impact on those aged 18-44, with 21% revealing they’re suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
  • 70% of 45-54 admitted upgrading lighting was just as important to their home as painting, laying new carpets, and buying new furniture
For more on the ‘Watts The Matter?’ campaign please visit: www.niceic.com/media/watts-the-matter.

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