As seen on TV

The past few months have been great for media coverage of sedentary behaviour, and I’ve been fortunate to be on the receiving end of a few interviews.  I thought it would be fun to put them up here on the blog, so today I have 4 different clips – 2 video and 2 audio (email subscribers can view the videos by clicking on the title of today’s email).

The first video clip is from an interview with CTV News Channel, which I did in early December. I was in Ottawa while the hosts were interviewing me from Toronto, so my only connection to them was an earpiece (ps – do they wash those things between interviews?).  I was asked to stare directly into the camera, which is a bit intimidating to say the least!  My mother especially likes this clip as the interviewer was really challenging me on my answers, which kept me on my toes.  Unfortunately most journalists want a concise answer for “how much sedentary time is too much”, and so far we just don’t know much more than “people who sit less are healthier than those who sit more”.  Apologies for the bootleg quality of the first video, it’s the best we could do!

CTV News Channel Interview from Travis Saunders on Vimeo.

The next two clips come from my visit to New Brunswick earlier this month.  I was in town visiting my parents for the holidays, and had the opportunity to give a guest lecture at the University of New Brunswick Fredericton campus.  The talk was open to the public, and we were fortunate to get a surprising amount of media attention focusing on sedentary behaviour research leading up to the event.

Below are two reports (one from CBC Radio, and one from CBC TV) that came out the day of the talk, which may be of interest to those of you interested in sedentary behaviour. The reports cover the field in general, as well as a bit of info on my thesis project itself, which I haven’t discussed much here on the blog (I’m asking kids to sit for extended periods of time, then looking to see if that has a measurable impact on their metabolic health).  I also demonstrate the pedal machine I use when working in the student lab, including my patented “backward pedaling” technique, which for some reason makes it much easier to pedal without whacking my knees on my desk (this is a relief not only for my knees, but also for my labmate Richard who has to put up with my pedaling).

Of note, the CBC TV piece was actually picked up and re-aired on CNN.  You can expect to see an “As seen on CNN” logo on Obesity Panacea in the near future (look out,!).

As a bonus, the TV spot also features a short clip of me juggling as a 13 year-old, back from my days a professional street performer (more than once in my life I have benefited from  a slow news week in Fredericton). Also, the trophies in the background of the interview shots belong to my father, a 3-time Canadian baseball champion (my wife was disappointed to find out they weren’t mine!).

CBC News Report on Sedentary Behaviour from Travis Saunders on Vimeo.

Unfortunately I’ve had a hard time embedding the radio interview here on the blog, but it can be heard at the following link: CBC radio interview.

Finally, a bonus clip from a podcast I recorded last week with the guys from 1 Meal, 1 Workout (my interview starts around the 10 minute mark).  You can download the clip here, or subscribe to their podcast in itunes.


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13 Responses to As seen on TV

  1. Nora says:

    The backwards pedal action is much safer, especially when you are sitting on a bouncy ball.

  2. Atif says:

    Way to go Travis!

  3. Atif says:

    And yes, the earpiece/camera is really awkward. Especially when it looks like you’re in some spacious, wonderful room, but in fact you’re in a closet staring at a camera with an earpiece that threatens to fall out if you move too quickly.

  4. Linda Fair says:

    “so far we just don’t know much more than “people who sit less are healthier than those who sit more”. I have run across advice to be sure to get up and move around at least once an hour if you have a desk job, in addition to getting at least 30 mins of aerobic exercise each day. So it isn’t just the cumulative time sitting, but the time sitting uninterrupted by movement, is it not? I think it might be helpful to the average layman to suggest something that might be achievable today rather than just suggest that “more reseach in needed.”

    • Travis says:

      You’re absolutely correct that it seems like interruptions in sitting time are also important (this is one of the areas I’m investigating with my thesis). Unfortunately I wasn’t able to work that point into the first interview.

      It’s not so much that we need to wait for more research – we know that reducing your sitting time (and taking more breaks when you do have to sit for prolonged periods) is likely going to reduce your health risk. The problem is simply when people ask for a precise number of how much sedentary time is “too much”, which no one can really do (at least no one limiting themselves to published evidence) at the time being.

  5. Linda Fair says:

    Have you ever considered media training? Google “media training tips” or take a short course. You’ll get better with practice.

    • Travis says:

      I take it I need a lot of work? :)

      I’ve found that things have improved dramatically since starting my PhD as I’ve done more interviews, and as I’ve boiled down my message. We have a media training lunch-and-learn once a year, but I think the biggest thing for me right now is practice. Especially with the “stare into the camera” type of interview – I don’t see anyway to get used to that aside from doing it more often.

      • Mac Graydon says:

        Haha! You did start out a bit like a zombie, Travis, but you pulled through once she started hitting you with some harder questions. I wasn’t sure if you were going to blink for the first little bit. Nice job.

  6. Linda Fair says:

    Sorry…I tend to look for what’s wrong and forget about what’s right. I think you did well–much better than I would be able to do. Keep up the good work!

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