About Travis Saunders


Travis Saunders completed his BSc (Hon) in Kinesiology at the University of Calgary, where he was awarded the Gold Medal for the highest academic proficiency in his class. His MSc was performed at Queen’s University, and focused on the inter-relationships between physical activity, body fat distribution, and health risk in adults.  His PhD studies were completed in the fall of 2013, and focused on the relationship between sedentary behaviour and metabolic risk in children and youth.  After a brief Post Doctoral Fellowship at Dalhousie University examining the relationship between sedentary behaviour and health among patients with chronic diseases (cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer), Travis is currently an Assistant Professor in Applied Human Science.

Throughout his graduate training, Travis was been supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Canadian Diabetes Association.  He was also the inaugural recipient of the University of Ottawa Teaching Assistant Excellence Award.  His post doctoral fellowship was supported by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada.

Travis is a Certified Exercise Physiologist, and a member of the Sedentary Behaviour Research Network, the Canadian Obesity Network, the American College of Sports Medicine and the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology. He is also a former Content Editor at ResearchBlogging.org.

In his spare time Travis is a (former) competitive distance runner. He has medaled in both the Calgary and Manitoba International Marathons, and completed his first Boston Marathon in 2009.

Publications as of August, 2014 (see also Google Scholar)

  1. Prince SA, Saunders TJ, Gresty K, Reid RD. A comparison of the effectiveness of physical activity and sedentary behaviour interventions in reducing sedentary time in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis of controlled trials. Obesity Reviews, In Press. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/obr.12215/abstract
  2. Saunders TJ, Gray CE, Borghese MM, McFarlane A, Mbonu A, Ferraro ZM, Tremblay MS. Validity of SC-StepRx pedometer-derived moderate and vigorous physical activity during treadmill walking and running in a heterogeneous sample of children and youth. BMC Public Health, 14(1):519, 2014. http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2458/14/519
  3. Saunders TJ, Chaput JP, Tremblay MS.  Sedentary behaviour as an emerging risk factor for cardiometabolic diseases in children and youth.  Canadian Journal of Diabetes, 38(1):53-61, 2014.
  4. Saunders TJ, Tremblay MS, Mathieu ME, O’Loughlin J, Tremblay A, Chaput JP. Associations of sedentary behavior, sedentary bouts and breaks in sedentary time with cardiometabolic risk in children with a family history of obesity. PLOS ONE, 8(11):e79143, 2013. IF=4.411. http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0079143#pone-0079143-t003
  5. Lloyd M, Saunders TJ, Bremer E, Tremblay MS.  Long-term importance of Fundamental Motor Skills: A 20 year follow-up study. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 31(1):67-78, 2014.
  6. Saunders TJ, Chaput JP, Goldfield GS, Colley RC, Kenny GP, Doucet E, Tremblay MS. Children and youth do not compensate for an imposed bout of prolonged sitting by reducing subsequent food intake or increasing physical activity: a randomised crossover study. British Journal of Nutrition, 111(4):747-754, 2014. IF=3.013.
  7. Larouche R, Saunders TJ, Colley RC, Faulkner G, Tremblay MS. Associations between active school transport and physical activity, body composition and cardiovascular fitness: a systematic review of 57 studies.  Journal of Physical Activity and Health.  In Press. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23250273
  8. Boyer C, Tremblay MS, Saunders TJ, McFarlane A, Borghese M, Lloyd M, Longmuir PE. Feasibility, validity and reliability of the plank isometric hold as a field-based assessment of muscular endurance for children 8 to 12 years of age.  Pediatric Exercise Science, 25(3):407-22, 2013.
  9. Saunders TJ, Chaput JP, Goldfield GS, Colley RC, Kenny GP, Doucet E, Tremblay MS. Prolonged sitting and markers of cardiometabolic disease risk in children and youth: A randomized crossover study. Metabolism, 62(10):1423-8, 2013. IF=2.772.
  10. Saunders TJ, Tremblay MS, Després JP, Bouchard C, Tremblay A, Chaput JP.  Sedentary behaviour, visceral fat accumulation and cardiometabolic risk in adults: a 6-year longitudinal study from the Quebec Family Study. PLOS ONE, 8(1): e54225, 2013. IF = 4.411. http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0054225
  11. Goldfield G., Saunders T.J., Kenny G.P., Hadjiyannakis S., Phillips P., Alberga A.S., Tremblay M.S., Malcolm J., Prud’homme D., Gougeon R., Sigal R.J. TV Viewing and Diabetes Risk Factors in Overweight and Obese Adolescents. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 44(4 Suppl 4):S364-70, 2013. IF=5.128.
  12. Thivel D, Aucouturier J, Doucet E, Saunders TJ, Chaput JP. Daily energy balance in children and adolescents: does energy expenditure predict subsequent energy intake? Appetite, 60(1):58-64, 2013. IF=3.022.
  13. Thivel D, Saunders TJ, Chaput JP.  Physical activity in children and youth may have a greater impact on energy intake than energy expenditure.  Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 45(1):e1, 2013.
  14. Colley RC, Garriguet D, Janssen I, Wong SL, Saunders TJ, Carson V, Tremblay MS. The association between accelerometer-measured patterns of sedentary time and health risk in children and youth: a cross-sectional study. BMC Public Health, 13:200, 2013.
  15. Chaput JP, Saunders TJ, Mathieu MÈ, Henderson M, Tremblay MS, O’Loughlin J, Tremblay A. Combined associations between moderate to vigorous physical activity and sedentary behaviour with cardiometabolic risk factors in children. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab, 38(5):477-83, 2013. IF=2.401.
  16. Saunders TJ, Chaput JP. Is obesity prevention as simple as turning off the TV and having a nap? British J Nutrition, 108(5):946-7, 2012. IF=3.013. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22697577
  17. Saunders TJ, R Larouche, RC Colley, MS Tremblay. Acute Sedentary Behavior and Markers of Cardiometabolic Risk: A Systematic Review of Intervention Studies. Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, 2012:712435. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3382951/
  18. Saunders TJ, A Palobella, KA McGuire, P Janiszewski, JP Després , R Ross.  Acute exercise increases adiponectin levels in abdominally obese men. Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, 2012:148729. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3369484/
  19. Sedentary Behaviour Research Network (Barnes J, Behrens TK, Benden ME, Biddle S, Bond D, Brassard P, Brown H, Carr L, Chaput JP, Christian H, Colley RC, Duggan M, Dunstan D, Ekelund U, Esliger D, Ferraro Z, Freedhoff Y, Galaviz K, Gardiner P, Goldfield G, Haskell WL, Liguori G, Healy G, Herman KM, Hinckson E, Larouche R, Leblanc A, Levine J, Maeda H, McCall M, McCubbin W, McGuire A, Onywera V, Owen N, Peterson M, Prince S, Ramirez E, Ridgers N, Routen A, Rowlands A, Saunders TJ, Schuna JM, Sherar L, Spruijt-Metz D, Taylor B, Tremblay MS, Tucker J, Widndaele K, Wilson J, Woodruff S). Standardized use of the terms “sedentary” and “sedentary behaviours”. Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism, 37(3):540-2, 2012. IF = 2.401 http://www.sedentarybehaviour.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Letter-APNM-2012.pdf
  20. Chaput J.P., Saunders T.J.  Bioenergetics of Obesity: Is Fat Gain a Problem or a Solution? Bioenergetics: Open Access, 2012. http://www.omicsgroup.org/journals/BEG/BEG-1-e101.pdf
  21. Larouche R, Saunders TJ.  Can active school transport prevent overweight and obesity in children and youth?  Health Science Inquiry, 2012; 3:64-65. http://dl.dropbox.com/u/18065981/HSI%20-%202012%20Publication%20(final).pdf
  22. Saunders TJ. Potential Contributors to the Canadian Pediatric Obesity Epidemic.  ISRN Pediatrics, 2011.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3263586/
  23. Goldfield G.S., Kenny G.P., Hadjiyannakis S., Phillips P., Alberga A.S., Saunders T.J., Tremblay M.S., Malcolm J., Prud’homme D., Gougeon R., Sigal R.J.  Video Game Playing Is Independently Associated with Blood Pressure and Lipids in Overweight and Obese Adolescents PLoS ONE, 2011;6(11):e26643. IF = 4.411. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3206019/
  24. Tremblay MS, LeBlanc A.G., Kho M.E., Saunders T.J., Larouche R., Colley R.C., Goldfield G.,  Connor Gorber S. Systematic review of sedentary behaviour and health indicators in school-aged children and youth.  International Journal of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity 8:98, 2011. IF = 3.830. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3186735/
  25. Saunders T.J., Prince S.A., Tremblay M.S. Clustering of children’s activity behaviour: the use of self-report versus direct measures.  International Journal of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity 8:48, 2011. IF = 3.830. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3119190/
  26. Tremblay, M.S., Colley, R., Saunders, T.J., Healy, G.N., & Owen, N. Physiological and Health Implications of a Sedentary Lifestyle.  Applied Physiology, Nutrition, & Metabolism. 35 (6): 725-40, 2010. IF = 2.401.  http://www.sfu.ca/~leyland/Kin343%20Files/sedentary%20review%20paper.pdf
  27. Bullimore, S.R., Saunders, T.J., Herzog, W., & MacIntosh, B.R. Calculation of muscle maximal shortening velocity by extrapolation of the force-velocity relationship: afterloaded versus isotonic release contractions.  Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology. 88 (10): 937-948, 2010.  IF = 1.953.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20962893
  28. Church, T.,  Earnest, C., Thompson, A., Priest, E., Rodarte, R., Saunders, T.J., Ross, R., & Blair, S. Exercise Without Weight Loss Does Not Reduce C-Reactive Protein: The INFLAME Study.  Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 42 (4): 708-716, 2010. IF = 3.710. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2919641/
  29. Janiszewski, P.M., Saunders, T.J. & Ross, R.  Association between breast volume, cardiometabolic risk factors and fat distribution in premenopausal women.  Obesity. 18 (6): 1183-7, 2010. IF = 4.284. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1038/oby.2009.336/full
  30. Saunders, T.J., Davidson, L.E., Janiszewski, P.M., Despres, J.-P., Hudson, R., & Ross, R.  Associations of the limb fat to trunk fat ratio with markers of cardiometabolic risk in elderly men and women.  Journals of Gerontology Series: Medical Sciences. 64A (10): 1066-1070, 2009. IF = 4.598. http://biomedgerontology.oxfordjournals.org/content/64A/10/1066.short
  31. Kuk, J.L., Saunders, T.J., Davidson, L.E., & Ross, R. Age-related Changes in Total and Regional Fat Distribution.  Ageing Research Reviews. 8 (4): 339-348, 2009. IF = 6.383. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1568163709000415
  32. Janiszewski, P.M., Saunders, T.J., & Ross, R.  Lifestyle treatment of the metabolic syndrome.  American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine. 2: 99-108, 2008.  http://ajl.sagepub.com/content/2/2/99.short

Selected Interviews and Media Coverage

CTV News Channel Interview from Travis Saunders on Vimeo.

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

  1. Radio Canada International: Sitting is bad for your health http://goo.gl/cgvQa
  2. Maclean’s Magazine: Why sitting might kill you http://goo.gl/iwjtN
  3. Ottawa Citizen: CHEO Researchers try to save couch potato kids
  4. CTV News: Sitting problem http://goo.gl/EMsMW
  5. CBC TV News (re-aired on CNN later that week): Stop sitting http://goo.gl/es80o
  6. CBC Radio http://goo.gl/jQ5SG
  7. Globe and Mail: Is your office chair killing you? http://goo.gl/LBCIp
  8. Globe and Mail: Can sitting too long really hurt my health? http://goo.gl/eEMmD
  9. Globe and Mail: Weight isn’t absolute indicator of health http://goo.gl/7USlc
  10. Summer Tomato: Exercise and weight loss http://goo.gl/gm3uH
  11. NOW Magazine: Don’t be a sitting duck http://goo.gl/xlmEO
  12. CBC News: Sitting takes toll on body, scientists find http://goo.gl/kxLic
  13. CBC Radio: Fidgety Fitness http://goo.gl/kxLic


Travis has received a Movable MOVband, FitDesk, and Sensewear Armband for review purposes on Obesity Panacea (see review here).

4 Responses to About Travis Saunders

  1. I would like to discuss my findings with you, especially the issue of BMI percentiles in adults and the fact that they are not used for the definition of overweight and obesity. Look for instance at the graph at the bottom of this page:


    BMI 26 (overweight by definition) is in the green range (normal weight by definition) at age 21 (adult man). Very strange. Your comment?

  2. Claudia says:

    Hi! I was wondering if you are coming to Rio for the 5th ICPAPH?

  3. Travis Saunders, Phd, MSc, CEP says:

    Unfortunately no – I wasn’t sure where I’d be this year, or whether I’d be able to afford the trip. Hoping to go to the next ICPAPH, as I went to both Toronto and Sydney and had a great time at both!

  4. Christine says:

    This is my first visit to the blog, and it’s great. I am guessing comments are closed on the “do I need to watch my weight” post, but I thought you might like to hear my experience. I’ve been various levels of obese my entire life. I’m now in my late 30s and am around 250 and 5’9″. I am not at all suggesting this is a good thing, and there’s never been a time when I wasn’t thinking about my weight or trying to change it. I certainly have had my fair share of doctor experiences, beginning when I was 8 and told the answer was to eat jello versus ice cream. So we’re taking 30 years of this. I often feel like any consultation begins with “well, if you lost weight, it would help.” There is often such a large focus on BMI and absolutely NONE on anything else related to it. No discussion of nutrition or exercise (aside from “you should exercise” and criticizing whatever level I’ve gotten myself in the habit of doing. “oh, only an average of 30 min a day, you should really get 60″) or psychology. There have actually been times I’ve shocked doctors by pulling out my fitness or food tracking on my phone and tried to get them to address those issues. Really I just like showing them that the answer isn’t as easy as they seem to make it. It’s like they think I had no idea I was obese and they were helping me out by telling me. Well, anyway, there is a long way to go in obesity research and in the medical community’s education, so I’m glad you’re continuing the conversation!