Confinement, Comfort and Health: Analysis of the Real Influence of Lockdown on University Students during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 May 23;18(11):5572. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18115572.


The COVID-19 pandemic forced the population worldwide into lockdown. The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of this measure on the health and comfort of university students and the role that the characteristics of the home may have played. It is essential to differentiate between the terms comfort and health both from the medical and architectural perspectives, as there are differences between the two concepts that are, nonetheless, shared by both disciplines. An online survey was fulfilled by 188 medicine and architecture undergraduate students at the University of Seville, Spain. In terms of health, 89% suffered neuropsychiatric disorders (56% anxiety and 49% depression), 38% gained weight and 59% reported alcohol consumption. In relation to comfort, the majority rated their home positively, comfortable in terms of room temperature and noise at night, and they had a good relationship with cohabitants. However, those who did not have a balcony or terrace would have liked to have open spaces They would have also liked to increase the size of their bedroom, where they spent most of their time and where they studied. A built-up environment gave them a sense of being imprisoned, while those who enjoyed open spaces found a sense of peace. The absence of open spaces in the house, the environment and the impossibility of making the most frequently used spaces more flexible may have had negative impacts on the health and comfort of university students during confinement.

Keywords: COVID-19; comfort; health; housing; survey; university students.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19*
  • Communicable Disease Control
  • Humans
  • Pandemics*
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Spain / epidemiology
  • Students
  • Universities