TORONTO -- New research from Statistics Canada suggests more Canadians followed physical distancing guidelines in May than they had in the prior month.

The study, released Thursday, shows approximately 92 per cent of Canadians followed the guidelines in May, which include staying inside, avoiding large crowds, and maintaining two metres of separation when in public. This represents an increase of 5 per cent compared to a month prior.

StatCan also found the numbers are consistent among men, women and across age groups.

The report suggests more people are washing their hands regularly and avoiding large gatherings than they had been in April, but are less likely to avoid leaving the house for non-essential reasons, which the study partially attributes to loosening restrictions across the country.

The study found no significant differences in the percentages of people who are stocking up on essentials, working from home, filling their prescriptions and avoiding touching their face.


The research also shows nearly 20 per cent of Canadians are experiencing moderate or severe anxiety. These feelings were more common among women (21 per cent) and youth (27 per cent).

StatCan notes that staying at home, the grief of a lost loved one and financial hardship can all be attributing factors in anxiety during these times.

The virus has also had an impact on the diets of Canadians. The study showed that 19 per cent of Canadians are drinking more, while 35 per cent of respondents said they are eating more junk food and sweets.