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科学已经证明,抖腿有益健康

更新时间:2016-12-20 18:33:22 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Why Fidgeting Is Good Medicine
科学已经证明,抖腿有益健康

Are you a fidgeter?

你是个一坐下就爱抖腿的人么?

From now on, you can ignore the frequent requests you undoubtedly receive to just sit still. A new study finds that fidgeting — the toe-tapping, foot-wagging and other body movements that annoy your co-workers — is in fact good for your health.

你一定经常被要求“老老实实坐好”。但从现在开始,不必再理会那些要求了。最新的研究表明,一些可能会打扰身边同事的小动作,比如用脚打拍子、晃脚等等,其实对身体健康是有益的。

Sitting is one of the scourges of modern life. We sit during meetings, automobile and airplane trips, while completing lengthy work assignments and while binge-watching “Stranger Things.” Studies of movement patterns indicate that most of us spend between eight and 10 hours each day seated. During that time, our bodies and, in particular, our legs barely move.

坐着不动是现代生活中的一件苦差事。我们坐着开会,坐汽车或飞机旅行,长时间坐着工作或者一口气看完《怪奇物语》。对身体运动规律的研究显示,大多数人每天坐着的时间长达八到10个小时。在这期间,我们的全身极少活动,尤其是腿部。

The health consequences of this muscular immobility are well documented and include an increased risk for weight gain, as well as diabetes, since unused muscles in the legs do not pull sugar from the blood, leading to a dangerous rise in blood sugar.

肌肉长时间静止不动对健康的负面影响有据可查:除了可能导致体重增加之外,由于未活动的腿部肌肉不会从血液中吸收糖分,导致血糖水平危险升高,患糖尿病的危险也会随之增加。

But the most immediate impact of oversitting is on our vasculature. Studies show that uninterrupted sitting causes an abrupt and significant decline in blood flow to the legs. This is problematic since, when blood flow drops, friction along the vessel walls also declines. The cells that line these walls, which can sense changes in the friction, begin to pump out proteins that contribute over time to hardening and narrowing of the arteries. This may make biological sense, because arteries don’t need to be as flexible when there isn’t much blood in them, but when the blood flow increases, the blood vessel remains stiff, increasing blood pressure and raising the risk for atherosclerosis.

不过久坐最直接危害到的,是人体血管系统的健康。研究表明,不间断久坐会造成腿部血流量显著骤降。这会有问题,因为随着血流量的下降,血液对血管壁的摩擦会相应减少。血管壁细胞会感应到管壁摩擦的改变,于是开始泵出蛋白质,日积月累,会成为促使血管硬化变窄的因素之一。从生物学角度来说,这可能是有道理的,毕竟动脉在没有大量血液流通的情况下,不需要很有弹性。但当血流量增大时,如果血管依然很僵硬,就会造成血压升高,增加动脉粥样硬化的危险。

We can combat that situation easily by standing up and moving, causing leg muscles to contract and blood flow to remain steady.

我们只需要站起来走动走动,让腿部肌肉得以收缩,让血液的流动保持稳定,就可以轻松应对上述这些问题。

“But there are many situations in which people cannot just stand up,” such as during long meetings or car trips, said Jaume Padilla, an assistant professor of nutrition and exercise physiology at the University of Missouri in Columbia, who led the new study.

“但是在很多情况下,人们并不能想站就站,”密苏里哥伦比亚大学营养与运动生理学助理教授豪梅·帕迪利亚(Jaume Padilla)说,比如长时间的会议、坐车等等。帕迪利亚是这项最新研究的团队带头人。

So Dr. Padilla and his colleagues began to consider other, relatively unobtrusive and practical ways that someone might combat the decline in blood flow associated with sitting.

因此,帕迪利亚和同事们开始思考如何通过一些更实际也相对不造成干扰的方式,来帮助人们解决久坐带来的腿部血流减少的问题。

For the new study, which was published in July in The American Journal of Physiology Heart and Circulatory Physiology, they hit upon fidgeting.

他们于今年7月在《美国心脏和循环生理学杂志》上发表了该项研究成果。研究中,他们发现了“抖腿”之类的小动作的功效。

Dr. Padilla and his colleagues thought it was conceivable that lower-body fidgeting might also result in enough muscular activity to elevate blood flow to the legs.

帕迪利亚和他的团队认为,下半身轻微的抖动也可以带来足够的肌肉运动,提高腿部的血液流量,这是有可能的。

To test that possibility, they recruited 11 healthy college students and, using ultrasound and a blood pressure cuff, first measured the level of normal blood flow through one of the main arteries in their legs and determined how well that artery responded to changes in blood pressure — a marker of arterial health.

为了证明这种可能性,他们招募了11名身体健康的大学生志愿者,利用超声波和血压检测袖带首先测量出正常情况下每人腿部主要动脉的血流量,并测定动脉对血压改变的反应能力——这是衡量动脉健康的指标之一。

Then they asked each subject to sit for three hours in front of a desk. The volunteers could study, work on their computers, talk on the phone or otherwise amuse themselves but, for those three hours, were not allowed to rise.

随后,他们安排实验对象在桌子前静坐三个小时,这期间可以学习,用电脑工作,打电话或者用其他方式娱乐消遣,但是不能站起来。

Most importantly, they asked the volunteers to keep one leg perfectly still, the foot flat against the floor and unmoving. With the other leg, the volunteers were told to fidget — tapping their heels against the ground for one minute and then staying still for four minutes. (A clock chimed to let them know when to start or stop fidgeting.)

最重要的是,他们要求志愿者保持一条腿绝对静止,脚掌平贴地面,不能有任何移动。而另一条腿则需要不时抖动——先抬起脚跟拍打地面一分钟,然后保持贴地静止四分钟。(计时器会发出声响,提醒他们何时开始和停止抖动。)

Over the course of the three hours, the researchers monitored the blood flow in the volunteers’ leg arteries.

在三个小时的测试过程中,研究人员监测着志愿者们腿部动脉的血流量。

The blood flow in the unmoving leg declined precipitously, but it rose in the fidgeting leg, compared both to baseline levels and to the unmoving leg.

测试结果显示,静止不动的腿的血流量显著降低;而不时抖动的那条腿,与测试前的基准状态和静止的那条腿相比,血流量都有所增高。

More striking, at the end of the three hours, when the researchers again tested the ability of the volunteers’ arteries to respond to changes in blood pressure, the vessel in the unmoving leg no longer worked as well as it had during baseline testing, which suggests it was already not as healthy as it had been.

更让人惊讶的是,测试结束后,研究人员再次检测志愿者腿部动脉对血压变化的反应能力,他们发现,静止腿的动脉反应能力已经不如基准状态测试的时候了。这说明,这条腿的血管已经不如一开始那么健康了。

But the artery in the volunteers’ fidgeting leg responded as well as or better than it had at baseline to changes in blood pressure.

但是,志愿者不时抖动的那条腿与基准状态相比,对血压变化的反应能力不变,有人甚至更好。

“To be honest, we were surprised by the magnitude of the difference” between the two legs, Dr. Padilla said.

“坦白讲,双腿测试结果的巨大差异让我们也很惊讶,”帕迪利亚说。

“We had expected that fidgeting might attenuate” the reduction in blood flow and any subsequent acute changes in vessel health, he said, but the differences in terms of blood flow and subsequent arterial function were much more significant than they had anticipated.

“我们预计,抖腿可能会缓解”血流量的降低以及随之而来的血管健康方面严重衰退,他说。但是,在血流量和由此引发的血管功能方面的显著差异远比他们预想的要大得多。

“The muscular contractions associated with fidgeting are really quite small,” he said, “but it appears that they are sufficient” to combat some of the unhealthy consequences of sitting.

“抖腿所带来的肌肉收缩其实很微小,”帕迪利亚说,“但现在看来,这已经足够”对抗久坐带来的一些健康问题了。

Of course, the study was small, short term and involved only healthy young people. It also did not retest the volunteers’ vascular function after they had risen and begun to move around normally. Dr. Padilla said he thought it was likely that any undesirable consequences from this single session of not moving would soon disappear.

当然,这项研究样本较小,时间较短,选取的研究对象也仅限于健康的年轻人。同时,研究人员也没有在志愿者起身正常活动后,再次测试他们的血管功能。帕迪利亚认为,单次静坐测试所带来的不良反应可能很快都会消失。

But repeated bouts of muscular stillness could over time cause such impacts to become permanent, he said.

但他也说,肌肉经常处于静止状态,日积月累,可能会让上述影响变成永久性的。

So if you can’t rise and walk around during your next lengthy meeting, he said, tap your toes. Bob your feet. Keep your legs in motion somehow, no matter how slight. And if your spouse or aisle mate should frown in annoyance, point out that science now says that fidgeting is good medicine.

因此,如果你下次在漫长的会议期间没法站起来走动,帕迪利亚建议你用脚尖拍拍地面或是颠一颠脚,保持腿部肌肉处于某种运动状态,哪怕是最轻微的运动。如果你的伴侣或者过道那边的人被你打扰,皱起了眉头,你可以告诉他们:科学已经证明,抖腿有益健康。

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