Part of the problem with sedentary behaviour is that our lifestyle and environment encourage it. We live in the so called “information age.” Rather than being active and mobile, we spend most of our day at a computer or desk. This has ramifications not only when we are young, but also for when we get older.
The Dutch government decided to try and tackle this issue by introducing an initiative called “The Netherlands on the Move!” (NOM), along as with a TV show called “The Netherlands on the Move-TV!” (NOM-TV). This program was aimed at encouraging those above the age of 55 to become more active by showing exercises they can do in front of the TV in the comfort of their own house. The show is broadcast at 6:45am and 9:10am, is 15 minutes long, and shows two personal trainers leading five people through a series of exercises, and is watched by an estimated 137,000 people daily. All in all, an interesting and healthy program.
But the question is: what stops people from participating? It’s only 15 minutes, in your own home, once a day. That’s not an unreasonable amount of time, and, in theory, quite attainable. These researchers investigated the effect of perceived competence on participation in NOM-TV; the idea being that if you believe you can do it, you are more likely to.
I like to tweet interesting stories and articles during the week (follow me @MrEpid); if you follow me you might have seen these links already:
The 2012 Canadian Obesity Student Meeting, to be held in Edmonton, AB is now accepting abstracts! You should come!
On the topic of Valentine’s Day, did you ever wonder if births go up on Valentine’s Day and down on Halloween? Well, they do! From the article:
On Valentine’s Day, which conveys positive symbolism, there was a 3.6% increase in spontaneous births and a 12.1% increase in cesarean births. Whereas, on Halloween, which conveys negative symbolism, there was a 5.3% decrease in spontaneous births and a 16.9% decrease in cesarean births. These effects reached significance at p < .0001 (Levy, Chung and Slade, 2011)
Friend of the blog Dr Stephanie Prince-Ware just got her PhD! Way to go Stephanie!
While we have a lot of obvious formal responsibilities as researchers, one aspect of our job that is not talked about is mentoring. While this can refer to formal mentoring of students, I also believe that this encompasses talking to High School and Middle School aged youth about science, and encouraging them to consider science if they want to pursue higher education.
With that in mind, I wrote a guest post for the guys over at Obesity Panacea (click the image above to read it). I hope that people enjoy it, and I hope that labs take this as an opportunity to volunteer their time and experience in judging science fairs (if not more).
Take a read of it and let me know what you think. In particular, the issue of female mentors. I can’t speak to it myself, and the feedback I received on drafts of the posts varied from “it’s not as big a problem as it was” to “it’s important and needs to be talked about.” So my instinct is that this varies depending on personal experience. What do you think?
Special thanks to Jess, Kim, Anne, Rachel and Mariane for feedback on this post!
Recently I had a paper of mine published in the journal Obesity Facts. I was thrilled – this was one of the papers from my MSc and it had finally found a home for itself, after being rejected from three separate journals. Friend of the blog Dr Arya Sharma heard about the study, and covered it in his blog.
I just want to thank all the wonderful reporters who I talked to. They were really helpful and very insightful in what they asked. It was a new experience for me, and their patience was absolutely incredible. I’ll be posting some reflections next week on my dealings with the media – while it was an absolutely phenomenal experience and a huge honour, it was also terrifying and a little surreal.