You can be part of a new study that will examine how coronavirus is affecting health behaviors in people worldwide.

The research could help influence local and national public health policies.

Part of the study is a 15-minute online survey that includes questions about how COVID-19 has affected your physical activity, diet, sleep and well-being.

With enough responses from cities here and across the world, researchers could share hyperlocal data with residents and policymakers. The data can then be used to inform health policies and practices in those communities.

“The idea for the study was really simple,” said Leanne Redman, professor and associate executive director for scientific education at LSU’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center. “As we have all become confined to our homes and neighborhoods under stay-at-home orders, our emails and social media accounts have been flooded with suggestions on how to maintain our normal habits or engage in new behaviors.

“We need to understand these societal shifts as quickly as possible and couldn’t find another institution doing this work. The research plays into our data-mining strengths, and we stepped into the gap.”

The pandemic suddenly and drastically altered everything from how people work and attend school to managing stress and the time they spend looking at television, computer and smartphone screens, Redman said. Researchers hope to learn how those changes can be used to improve our overall health.

“In the first week, the survey drew more than 3,000 responses," she said. "We hope it will reach thousands more.”

To take the survey, go to https://edc.pbrc.edu/surveys/?s=DKJJJNLLJ8.