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Title: Experienced temperature, health and the implications for the built environment
Author: Kennard, Harry R.
ISNI:       0000 0004 8508 0432
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2019
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Domestic heating demand accounts for around 14% of all UK greenhouse gas emissions (BEIS, 2018c). Reduction of this demand is necessary if the UK is to meet its emissions commitments. At the same time, the consensus is that dangerous cold exposure contributes to winter mortality rates. However, determining when, where and for whom this dangerous exposure occurs is challenging. Rather than using static measures of ambient temperature, this study makes use of experienced temperature { a novel measure of the immediate thermal environment of an individual. The relationships between experienced temperature and sociodemographic, housing and health factors are examined using data from a longitudinal observational health study of over 100,000 participants (the UK Biobank). Each participant wore an AX3 activity monitor for a week of everyday life between May 2013 and December 2015, which also measured temperature. The total unprocessed dataset for all participants was over 27TB. Following a considerable data processing exercise, each participant's experienced temperature and activity data were summarised in a series of metrics designed to characterise cold exposure. The resultant metrics were used in regression models against the available sociodemographic, housing and health factors to determine the relationship between cold exposure and health. Various findings were revealed. The choice of summary metric is important to characterising the experienced temperature of a participant. The coldest times of the year are associated with lower experienced temperature for participants. Experienced temperature increases with age and decreases with activity level, health satisfaction and whether a solid-fuel open re is used for home heating. There is clear evidence that low standard deviation of experienced temperature, named thermal variety in this study, is associated with poor health. The implications of these findings are discussed, with particular attention on who might be targeted for domestic carbon reduction schemes without risking overall population health.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available