Tag Archives: Personal Health Practices and Coping Skills

Depression and suicide among Health Professionals

According to the World Health Organization, depression is a common mental disorder, characterized by sorrow, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, feelings of tiredness, and poor concentration. (WHO, 2015). About 60% of people who suffer from this disease commit suicide in Canada (Statistics Canada, 2012). The most frequently used methods are hanging, poisoning, and firearms. Taking all this into consideration, are health professionals at risk?

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New Year’s Resolutions: Shooting for Success

On January 1st, 2015, the Earth completed its 365-day elliptic trajectory around the Sun. With the conclusion of the yearly orbital cycle, a new yet familiar cycle emerged that gave many a sense of opportunity for growth and development. As such, at the start of every New Year, a throng of Canadian desires and goals are consolidated in the form of “New Year’s Resolutions” which are often health-related. These resolutions may include, but are not limited to, weight loss, cessation of smoking, increasing levels of exercise, and consumption of healthy food (Thestar.com, 2013). Regardless of the particular health-related objective, adhering to self-made yearly commitments can be challenging; therefore, in addition to goal setting, employing a variety of strategies to address potential difficulties should be implemented to ensure the actualization of our resolutions. Continue reading New Year’s Resolutions: Shooting for Success

Sitting is the ‘new smoking’, and we’re paying the price

Even with regular exercise as part of a healthy regimen, Toronto researchers found that prolonged sitting is linked to increased risk of negative health outcomes, including heart disease, diabetes, and premature death. According to an analysis published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, sitting for long periods during daytime hours, regardless of exercise, is associated with a 15-20 percent higher risk of premature death from any cause, a 15-20 percent higher risk of heart disease, and as much as a 90 percent higher risk of developing diabetes (Biswas et al., 2015). Continue reading Sitting is the ‘new smoking’, and we’re paying the price

Personal Health Practices and Coping Skills

Many different factors influence human health and well-being, and there are a great many different ways of defining health and well-being, from the simple absence of measurable disease to a more abstract sense of physical and social actualization.  Regardless of how we define the outcome, decades of research suggest that there are a host of variables that interact and have an influence on the human condition.

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“FYI: Can Viagra Make You A Better Athlete?” Media Review

Author: James TAYLOR

Article Source:


Introduction: Athletes have started taking Viagra to gain a competitive edge. Viagra’s use might be expanding into the athletic world for its alleged boost to one’s physical capability. This paper will discuss Viagra’s impact on society, its users, athletic organisations, and whether its purported performance enhancement uses are valid and safe.

Pharmacology: Viagra works by relaxing smooth muscle cells through the inhibition of PDE5, thus, increasing the bioavailability of cGMP.

Results: Subjects had a higher VO2 max and recovered faster from pulmonary hypertension when given Viagra. Other results are mixed and not well established.

Barriers: Allowing Viagra into the athletic community may cause concern from sports organisations but will conversely and unequally burden those who require Viagra for healthy sexual function.

Conclusion: These findings do not directly correlate to an improvement in athletic performance. Furthermore, taking Viagra may pose as a risk to one’s health. Viagra should only be taken upon consultation with a health care professional.

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Ride Forward – An evaluation of Cycling in Two Ottawa Neighborhoods

Authors: Michael BORGHESE, Melissa BROOKS, Steven EARL & Jennifer NADDAF


Outdoor cycling (bicycling) is a low-impact form of exercise that improves cardiovascular fitness, muscle tone, range of motion and flexibility. It is an activity that may be beneficial to one’s physical, emotional, and mental health and well-being. The benefits to one’s social and emotional health and wellness may be derived from the social networking associated with being a member of a cycling community.

The purpose of this project is to provide recommendations to improve the current and future state of cycling in the Sandy Hill Community Centre’s catchment areas of Old Ottawa East and Sandy Hill, two communities in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. A preliminary needs assessment was conducted, and recommendations were generated from the information gathered.In order to begin the needs assessment we required much information, such as the opinions and attitudes of community members regarding cycling.

Through the extensive research of other current programs and groups offered both in Ottawa and other cities such as Montreal,Quebec, Canada and Portland, Oregon, United States we have found that the best cities provide a wide-range of cycling utilities for its citizens to accommodate different lifestyles.From the general knowledge that we gained from the research of other cities we designed a survey to identify the specific needs of Ottawa, and more specifically our target population of Sandy Hill and Old Ottawa East catchments areas.

Information was then synthesized into a list of recommendations, as well as solutions to current problems. The recommendations generated from the data gathered from the needs assessment include the development of various community programs, such as a cycling resource centre, cycling buddy system, cycling groups, safe-cycling education, and a bike share initiative.The data gathered from the needs assessment also indicated a priority need for the regular maintenance of roads and bicycle lanes.

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SmartHand: A Sense of Assistive Devices

Author: Philip M. LEE


Amputees have often faced social stigma attributable to their visible limb loss or use of artificial substitutions. In recent years, the use of prosthetics has become much more advanced, particularly in the field of sensory prostheses. One such assistive device, a new prototype technology known as the SmartHand, has recently been featured on several news networks. It is through this discussion that the SmartHand will be reviewed and compared with existing platforms that include myoelectric prostheses and targeted muscle reinnervation. Use of the SmartHand has been noted as having increased levels of competence in and improved the quality of life of its users. These conclusions also bring to light the scientific barriers that are faced, primarily with respect to tissue rejection. The cost benefit analysis of such a device may also produce conflicting data, thereby making it difficult to implement this device on a larger scale. Despite these problems, the SmartHand represents one of the most scientifically advanced assistive devices available in today’s market, whose usefulness for amputees is undeniable.

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Les risques associés à l’utilisation inappropriée des stéroïdes anabolisants

Authors: Marie-Claudel BORGEAT & James GOMES
Article in French only.


Notre société accorde une grande importance à la beauté et à la performance physique. Il n’est donc pas surprenant qu’une fraction non négligeable de gens aient recours à des méthodes draconiennes pour atteindre ces objectifs, ou s’en rapprocher. Une des méthodes les plus populaires est l’utilisation abusive de stéroïdes anabolisants. Plusieurs études ont évalué les effets indésirables et néfastes de ces composés à des doses “supra-physiologiques”. Nous présentons donc ici une révision et une synthèse de ces effets afin de mieux comprendre la nocivité de ces stéroïdes anabolisants quand ils sont mal utilisés.

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