Due to pandemic, we are fatter, more isolated and less trusting
Relationships, it found, have deteriorated, and people are less committed to volunteering.
One of the few improvements it found was an increased trust in institutions.
The study on the quality of life in Korea since the pandemic started was released Tuesday.
It found that last year among people 13 or older, 23.1 percent had gone to a movie theater, a museum, an art gallery, a sports event or a cultural performance at least once in 2021.
In 2019, that number was 66.0 percent.
In 2020, 75.5 percent of people 15 or older traveled, down 9.5 percentage points from 2019. The average number of days traveling per year fell from 10.01 days in 2016 to 5.81 in 2020.
Only 50.3 percent said they had trust in their relationships with others in 2020, down 15.9 percentage points from 2019.
"As people cut off relations with others during Covid-19 and with the risk of infection increased by meeting others, trust in others seemed to have declined," said a statistics agency official.
With people staying indoors and staying away from others, health indicators have declined.
The study found that in 2020, 38 percent of those 19 or older are considered overweight — defined as those with a body mass index (BMI) of 25 percent or above.
In 2019, 33.8 percent of those 19 or older were overweight. The 2020 number is the highest since the data were first compiled in 1998.
The statistics agency cited more time indoors due to Covid-19 as the primary cause.
In 2019, 16.1 percent of the people 13 or older participated in volunteer activities. But because of Covid-19, that ratio dropped to 8.4 percent the following year.
In 2019, 76.1 percent of people 13 to 19 participated in volunteer activities. In 2020, that number fell to 23.3 percent.
The percentage of people socially isolated and with no one to turn to in case of emergency in 2021 hit 34.1 percent, up from 27.7 percent in 2019.
Of those 60 and above, 42 percent had no one to turn to.
The debt-to-disposable-income ratio rose 12.5 percentage points in 2020 to 200.7 percent.
Korea has one of the highest household debt-to-disposable-income ratios in the OECD.
Countries with higher ratios than Korea include Denmark (258.6 percent), Norway (246 percent) and the Netherlands (230.4 percent).
Canada (175.4 percent), Britain (145 percent), Japan (114.1 percent) and the United States (101.1 percent) had lower ratios.
Among people 19 to 69, 47 percent trusted public institutions in 2020, up from 41 percent in 2019.
Public medical institutions had the trust of 71.2 percent, while the National Assembly had the trust of 20.2 percent.
Last year, fine dust averaged 19 microgram per cubic meter, down from 24 in 2019.
BY LEE HO-JEONG [email@example.com]