Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Master of Arts

Program

Geography

Supervisor

Dr. Jason Gilliland

Abstract

This research aims to fill a void in knowledge on how certain characteristics of the built and natural environments may impact children’s sleep duration. Data was collected on a sample of 614 children (aged 9-14 years) drawn from 22 elementary schools throughout the City of London, Ontario, Canada. Participants completed the STEAM (Spatial Temporal Environmental Activity Monitoring) protocol which involved completion of a survey, daily activity diary, and tracking the time they spent in different environments with a portable Global Position System. This thesis incorporates an innovative analytical approach which uses two Geographic Information System techniques to examine if and how different neighbourhood level environmental opportunities and exposures have an influence on children’s sleep duration.

Hierarchical multiple linear regressions were used to explore the relationship between children’s sleep duration and neighbourhood level environmental features. Analysis found that green space opportunity positively impacted children’s average sleep duration when measured by Normalized Difference Vegetation Index. Additionally, with each percent increase in amount of time spent around park spaces each day, children’s sleep duration increased by 13 minutes. From these findings, policy makers, educators, and parents can help in promoting a greater amount of time to be spent in parks for healthier sleep durations in children.


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