October 2012 Archives

October 2012 Archives

Study reveals bicycle lanes reduce risk of injury to cyclists



Luis F.T.
1455 De Maisonneuve Blvd. W.
Montreal, QC H3G 1M8
Web : http://www.montrealites.ca
Email: [email protected]

Montreal, QC --October 31, 2012 - The results of a new study reveal a substantial reduction in the risk of injuries to cyclists on streets where a separated lane bicycle infrastructure is available.

Second Banner Spot - Responsible Driving


Responsible Cycling - Banner Spot


Imposing Bicycle Helmet Laws in Montreal: Good Idea or Not?



Lately, in Montreal, there have been a lot of cycling accidents reported in the media. These reports have resulted with the general public having the perception that cycling is highly dangerous. According to the most recent report made by Vélo Québec, in 2010, when Quebecers were "asked what keeps them from using bicycles as a means of transportation, four out of ten [of them] mention the risk of accident or injury. One third of cyclists see this risk as a deterrent, and 43% of non-cyclists agree. This perception is not confirmed by reality: in 2009, there was one death per 120 million km covered by bike in Québec".

Cycling in Montreal


Over the last few years, improving the quality of life of cities around the world has become a priority for many government officials and grassroots communities. A city with good living standards brings new investment, attracts companies, and promotes growth. Many factors are taken into account when analyzing urban living standards, but the bicycle infrastructure of cities around the world has turned into an important issue. There are several reasons as to why cycling is such an important part of urban life and is now an essential component of city planning and development.

In general, cycling is less time-consuming for short trips (less than 5 km) than driving a motor vehicle. The already high number of cars, increasing yearly at a much faster rate than new roads being built, has resulted in heavier traffic, which evidently reduces average speed. Bicycles have become an alternative method of transportation that is pretty efficient.

Banner Spot: The Rise of Techno-Communication by John Caporicci


Increasingly, forms of communicative technology are replacing traditional forms of human interaction. Much of the population has already established a reliance on many aspects of distant communication, such as social networking and texting. What implications does this have on modern society? What foundation of social interaction is this digital generation laying out for today's youth? Research into the effects, positive and negative, of techno-communication can help give an idea of where this movement is taking us.

The Rise of Techno-Communication by John Caporicci


White Paper

John Caporicci


Background Information

Communicative technology has been rapidly gaining popularity in recent years. Whether positive or negative, it has had a profound effect on society in general. Social networking sites enable users to facilitate distant communication with friends, family, classmates, co-workers, and other groups. Cellular phones enable individuals to establish this form of communication with the aspect of portability and convenience that a computer may not be able to offer. Both of these examples of communicative methods are the leading popular alternatives to traditional forms of social interaction.



The issue many researchers have with distant communication is the lack of face-to-face interaction the average individual is experiencing. This can be crucial to, among other things, a youth's development. It is a concern that the use of technological communication combined with a misconception of its replacement for human interaction can cause a social withdrawal for its users. It is also a concern that certain users may consider themselves lost without the use of communicative technology as they feel more comfortable texting or instant messaging than they are communicating with someone face-to-face.

Table A - The percentage of a study's respondents who use Facebook and/or MySpace to form and maintain relationships


Used to meet new people (%)

Used to keep in touch with known people (%)













No Response






Source: Facebook and Myspace: Complement or Substitute for Face-to-Face Interaction?, CyberPsychology, Behavior & Social Networking (2011)


Table B - The percentage of the same study's respondents who have a tendency to communicate with their friends online more than in person













No response




Source: Facebook and Myspace: Complement or Substitute for Face-to-Face Interaction?, CyberPsychology, Behavior & Social Networking (2011)

Negative Aspects


1. As seen in Table A, researchers have proven that a large percentage of the modern population has developed a tendency to use social networking to form new relationships. It also shows that a larger number uses this method of communication to maintain new and pre-existing relationships. A major concern shown in Table B is that individuals are increasingly using this outlet to communicate with others who they once interacted with face-to-face.

2. There are researchers who believe that texting is ruining social interaction. The distance creates an impersonal and simplistic atmosphere which devalues what is being said between two people.

3. One belief is that texting is not only being used as an alternative to human communication, but as a means to avoid it entirely.

4. There are many concerns that leap outside of the realm of communication. One is that social networking can serve as a function for individuals to enact their psychopathologies, that is to say that they may avoid treatment for these issues and continue to behave in a manner behind a screen that is foreign to them during human interaction.

5. Another concern, derived from a study, is that deviant behavior shown while posting pictures online predicted an increase in problematic use of alcohol among young adults.

6. Adopting communicative technology may hinder the development of essential skills. Research has proven the possibility that elevated use of social networking during class time leads to lower grades than students who give their undivided focus to the course content. In addition, valuable and necessitated skills such as knowing how to speak to professionals in order to have a successful job interview may never be acquired by an individual who lacks nonverbal behavior learned through human interaction, such as eye contact.

Positive Aspects

7. There are others who believe that using communicative technology can be a good thing. One study demonstrated that certain social networking activities can be predictors of memory performance.

8. Another proved text messaging to be a helpful source for weight loss information, having been effectively applied to promote healthy behaviors.

9. In addition, there are youth who admit that they rely on technology for communication, although it does not interfere with physical activity.

These arguments imply that social networking and text messaging have become pillars in modern society, but if they are utilized and moderated correctly there are benefits to their usage.


Recommendations and Alternatives


It seems everywhere one looks, from television commercials to billboards spread across town, there is some mention of communicative technology. Increasingly, companies are beginning to recognize the benefits of creating a social networking page to market themselves or sending out text messages to those on their mailing lists in an attempt to promote new products. As opposed to just a few years ago, it is now rare to not see the familiar "Twitter" or "Facebook" logos plastered on seemingly every corner, channel, and even website. Regardless of what the uses for communicative technology are, they must be employed in moderation in order to maintain a balance between distant and human interaction.

For youth, there should be a stricter ban against computers and cell phones in classrooms. While this may seem redundant, especially to teachers, they must understand that once students recognize a teacher's lenience towards the usage of technology during class they may be more inclined to sign onto Facebook or text a friend who is trying to focus in another classroom. This does nothing but interfere with their studies, and the schooling system needs to put stricter measures in place to deal with the consequences.

Parents must understand that frequent use of communicative technology may hinder or deprive valuable and necessitated skills required for their child's development. Computer and cell phone usage should be moderated by all parents so that they may see their child receive a balance of screen time and face-to-face interaction with other children.

Society in general should be able to visit social networking sites and own a cell phone while still being able to maintain a healthy dose of human interaction. Pages such as Facebook could implement other aspects to their site, for example a news page or productive activities besides gaming, to encourage users not base their visit around the aspect of communication.

This issue is also a question of organization. If functional people are able to organize themselves correctly it would put their daily interactive activities into perspective. They could save money by taking a less expensive plan with their internet and/or cell phone provider(s), which would be effective in regulating distant communication. Having weekly or even monthly gatherings with relatives and spending quality time with family rather than just staying in touch over Facebook or by phone can be beneficial. Getting together with friends regularly and taking part in activities, even if it means going on social networking sites together and being able to experience human interaction can also help people maintain a healthy balance. These methods would allow society to stop relying so much on technology for communication, and become more comfortable in the presence of another human being.



1.           Kujath, C. L. "CyberPsychology." Behavior & Social Networking, Jan/Feb2011, Vol. 14 Issue ½, p 75-78. Retrieved from EBSCOHost.


2.           Marquez, C. "Negative aspects of text messaging". http://borderzine.com/2009/10/negative-aspects-of-text-messaging, Oct2009.

3.           Reynolds, S. "Is Text Messaging Replacing Human Communication?" http://ezinearticles.com/?Is-Text-Messaging-Replacing-Human-

                        Communication?&id=2240884, Apr2009.


4.           Feinstein, B. A., Bhatia, V., Hershenberg, R., & Davila, J. Journal of Social & Clinical Psychology, Apr2012, Vol. 31 Issue 4, p 356-382. Retrieved from                         EBSCOHost.


5.           Allen, J. P., Mikami, A. Y., & Szwedo, D. E. Journal of Research on Adolescence, Sep2012, Vol. 22 Issue 3, p. 453-466. Retrieved from EBSCOHost.


6.           Puglisi, M. "Social networking hurts the communication skills of college students."

                        http://thedaonline.com/opinion/social-networking-hurts- the-communication- skills-of-college-students-1.1689315, Oct2010.


7.           Alloway, R. G., & Alloway, T. P. Computer in Human Behavior, Sep2012, Vol. 28 Issue 5, p. 1748-1754. Retrieved from EBSCOHost.


8.           Fitzgibbob, M. L., Sharp, L. K., Thompson, A. L., Stolley, M. R., & Gerber, B. S. Health Informatics Journal, Mar2009, Vol. 15 Issue 1, p. 17-25. Retrieved from                         EBSCOHost.


9.           Kozyrskyj, A. L., Sevenhuysen, G. P., Ramsey, C. D., McGavock, J. M., & Protudjer, J. L. P. Journal of Asthma, Jun2012, Vol. 49 Issue 5, p. 496-501. Retrieved                         from EBSCOHost.


Cell phone picture provided by www.keywordpicture.com

Laptop picture provided by www.armybase.us

Facebook logo provided by www.facebook.com

How much do you sleep?


Definitely, in today's society people relay on caffeinated beverages and ignore the need to sleep pressed by their overload schedule. This voluntary sleep deprivation has many negative effects in our health causing damages to our overall performance. Moreover, we have seen that deadly accidents are caused by sleep deprivation such as the space shuttle Challenger when after almost a year of investigation; the Human Factors Subcommittee attributed the error to the severe sleep deprivation of the NASA managers. Consequently, we need to understand that sleep is part of a healthy lifestyle: it is not optional, but biologically obligatory.

A professor and researcher at Stanford University, William Dement, suggest that unfortunately it may take another Exxon Valzes or Challenger disaster for the sleep community mobilize public opinion to do something about this issue. He also suggests that drowsiness is the last step before we fall sleep, not the first.  For instance, while driving a car, drowsiness is a dramatic warning. It's a red alert!

How much should we sleep?                                      

Experts say that usually, people need to sleep one hour for every two hours awake, which means that most of us need around eight hours of sleep at night. Therefore, if you miss three hours one night, you must sleep eleven hours the next night (3 plus your normal 8) in order to feel alert throughout the day.

Also, it's important to ask yourself how your sleep deprivation is affecting you. How often do you think about taking a quick snooze? How often do you yawn during the day? How often do you feel like you really need some coffee?

How to assess the quality of your own sleep?

Daniel J. Buysse, MD, is medical director of the Sleep Evaluation Center in the department of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburg. Buysee along with other author such as Charles F. Reynolds , III, MD; Timithy H. Monk, PhD; Susan R, Berman; and David J. Kufer,MD  developed the Pittsburg Sleep Quality Index, or PSQI. It was first presented in May 1989 In Physiatrist Research as a tool "specially designed to measure sleep quality in clinical populations." And today, the PSQI is widely a widely used instrument in sleep research.
The Pittsburg Sleep Quality Index is a tool to assess the quality of your own sleep. The test can be self-scored, so you can get a numerical indicator of the quality of your own sleep.






Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI)


The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) (Buysse et al. 1989a) was developed to measure sleep quality during the previous month and to discriminate between good and poor sleepers. Sleep quality is a complex phenomenon that involves several dimensions, each of which is covered by the PSQI. The covered domains include Subjective Sleep Quality, Sleep Latency, Sleep Duration, Habitual Sleep Efficiency, Sleep Disturbances, Use of Sleep Medications, and Daytime Dysfunction.


The PSQI is composed of 19 self-rated questions and 5 questions rated by a bed partner or roommate (only the self-rated items are used in scoring the scale). The self-administered scale contains 15 multiple-choice items that inquire about frequency of sleep disturbances and subjective sleep quality and 4 write-in items that inquire about typical bedtime, wake-up time, sleep latency, and sleep duration. The 5 bed partner questions are multiple-choice ratings of sleep disturbance. All items are brief and easy for most adolescents and adults to understand. The items have also been adapted so that they can be administered by a clinician or research assistant.
The PSQI generates seven scores that correspond to the domains listed previously. Each component score ranges from 0 (no difficulty) to 3 (severe difficulty). The component scores are summed to produce a global score (range of 0-21). A PSQI global score >5 is considered to be suggestive of significant sleep disturbance. Cutoff scores are not available for component scales.



The PSQI was designed to provide a reliable, valid, and standardized measure of sleep quality. Preliminary results with the scale suggest that it is successful on all three counts.

Within sleep disorder treatment settings, the test should be useful in providing initial indexes of the severity and nature of sleep disturbances. Within a general psychiatric or medical setting, the PSQI appears to be useful as an initial screen to identify good and poor sleepers. Furthermore, although not as psychometrically sound as the overall score, the component scales appear to provide preliminary signs of specific types of sleep disturbance. Although in theory the PSQI should be useful in identifying patients for whom polysomnographic evaluation may be necessary, its actual performance as a screening tool has not been reported (i.e., false-positive and false-negative rates compared with results from the polysomnogram). The PSQI component scales do not, by and large, reflect corresponding polysomnographic findings. In any case, the PSQI is not sufficient to provide accurate clinical diagnoses of sleep disorders. Furthermore, there are no data establishing its sensitivity to change; thus, it is not known whether the scale is useful for monitoring treatment response.

























Strategies for Improved sleep

After assessing the quality of your sleep, the next step is to determine how you can improve your sleep.
Concordia University Health Services Department in "The University Student's Guide to Sleep" suggests the following strategies:

  1. Establish a regular sleep routine:
    Go to the bed at the same time each night and wake up at the same time each morning. Maintain this routine even during the weekends      
  2. Avoid substances that stimulate, especially in the evening:
    These include nicotine and caffeine consumption.
  3. Avoid stimulating activities in the evening such as playing video games or exercising
  4. Take time to wind down before going to bed; you need to be fully relaxed for sleep.
  5. Manage your worry
  6. Make your bedroom sleep friendly;
    This includes having a comfortable bed, keeping the room dark and eliminating noise
  7. Avoid alcohol in the evening
    Although alcohol can help a person fall sleep, it has the effect of causing rebound stimulation. which wakes a person up or causes fitful sleep
  8. Associate your bed with sleep:
    Go to bed only when you feel sleepy. Don't stay in bed if you can't sleep.
  9. Use relaxation strategies such as meditation, deep breathing
  10. Avoid long naps
  11. Engage in good health habits.