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即使是少量运动,也能带来幸福感

更新时间:2018-5-5 15:05:08 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Even a Little Exercise Might Make Us Happier
即使是少量运动,也能带来幸福感

Small amounts of exercise could have an outsize effect on happiness.

少量运动可能会造成极大幸福感。

According to a new review of research about good moods and physical activity, people who work out even once a week or for as little as 10 minutes a day tend to be more cheerful than those who never exercise. And any type of exercise may be helpful.

根据一项对良好情绪和身体活动的新研究综述,每周即使只锻炼一次或每天只锻炼十分钟的人会比从不锻炼的人更快乐。并且任何类型的锻炼可能都有用。

The idea that moving can affect our moods is not new. Many of us would probably say that we feel less cranky or more relaxed after a jog or visit to the gym.

运动能影响我们的情绪,这个观点并不新鲜。我们许多人可能都会说,在慢跑或是去了健身房之后会感觉没那么烦躁,或者更加放松。

Science would generally agree with us. A number of past studies have noted that physically active people have much lower risks of developing depression and anxiety than people who rarely move.

科学大体上也站在我们这边。过去一些研究指出,身体活跃的人出现抑郁或焦虑的风险比不怎么活动的人低得多。

But that research centered on the relationships between exercise and psychological problems like depression and anxiety. Fewer past studies explored links between physical activity and upbeat emotions, especially in people who already were psychologically healthy, and those studies often looked at a single age group or type of exercise.

但那些研究关注的是锻炼和抑郁或焦虑这些心理问题之间的关系。以往的研究很少探索身体活动和乐观情绪之间的联系,尤其是对那些心理本来就健康的人。而且以往那些研究通常只看单一年龄组或某一运动类型。

On their own, they do not tell us much about the amounts or types of exercise that might best lift our moods, or whether most of us might expect to find greater happiness with regular exercise or only certain groups of people.

单一地看,它们并不能告诉我们,多少运动量或哪些运动类型最能帮助我们提高情绪,抑或是否大多数人都可以通过经常性的锻炼来得到更大的幸福感,还是只有某一类人可以。

So for the new review, in The Journal of Happiness Studies, researchers at the University of Michigan decided to aggregate and analyze multiple past studies of working out and happiness.

因此,在《幸福研究期刊》(Journal of Happiness Studies)上的这篇新综述里,密歇根大学(University of Michigan)的研究人员决定汇总并分析过去多个关于锻炼和幸福的研究。

They began by combing research databases for relevant studies and wound up with 23 published since 1980. Most of those were observational, meaning that the scientists simply looked at a group of people, asking them how much they worked out and how happy they were. A few of the studies were experiments in which people started exercising and researchers measured their happiness before and after.

他们首先梳理了相关研究的研究数据库,整理了自1980年以来发表的23篇文章。其中大多是观察性的,即科学家们只是对一群人进行了观察,询问他们的锻炼量,以及他们有多快乐。研究中也有一些是实验性的——人们开始锻炼后,研究人员会测量他们锻炼前后的快乐程度。

The number of participants in any one study was often small, but together, they represented more than 500,000 people ranging in age from adolescents to the very old and covering a broad range of ethnic and socioeconomic groups.

任何一项研究的参与人数通常都很少,但加起来占了50多万人,年龄分布从青少年到老年都有,覆盖了广泛的种族范围和社会经济群体范围。

And for most of them, the Michigan researchers found, exercise was strongly linked to happiness.

密歇根大学的研究人员发现,对其中大多数人来说,锻炼与幸福感之间都有着紧密联系。

“Every one of the observational studies showed a beneficial relationship between being physically active and being happy,” says Weiyun Chen, an associate professor of kinesiology at the University of Michigan, who, with her graduate student Zhanjia Zhang, wrote the review.

“每一个观察性研究都表现了身体活跃和快乐之间的正向联系,”密歇根大学(University of Michigan)人体运动学副教授陈蔚云说,她和她的研究生张展嘉一起撰写了这篇综述。

The type of exercise did not seem to matter. Some happy people walked or jogged. Others practiced yoga-style posing and stretching.

锻炼的类型似乎并不重要。一些人走路或慢跑会感到快乐。另一些人则练习瑜伽或者做拉伸。

And the amount of exercise needed to influence happiness was slight, Dr. Chen says. In several studies, people who worked out only once or twice a week said they felt much happier than those who never exercised. In other studies, 10 minutes a day of physical activity was linked with buoyant moods.

而陈蔚云说,要影响幸福感,所需的运动量很少。在一些研究中,每周运动一两次的人表示他们比从不运动的人更快乐。在另一些研究中,一天10分钟的身体活动也与愉悦的心情有关联。

But more movement generally contributed to greater happiness. If people exercised for at least 30 minutes on most days, which is the standard American and European recommendation for good health, Dr. Chen says, they were about 30 percent more likely to consider themselves happy than people who did not meet the guidelines.

但更多的运动量通常会带来更大的幸福感。陈蔚云说,如果人们按美国和欧洲推荐的健康标准建议,平常每天至少运动30分钟,他们认为自己快乐的可能性会比未达到这一指标的人高30%。

“I think the indications are strong that exercise can contribute to happiness and, while anything helps, a bit more is probably better,” she says.

“我认为这些迹象显然表明运动能带来幸福感,虽然任何运动都有好处,但多做一些可能更好,”她说。

But because most of the studies in this review were observational, she says, it is not possible yet to establish whether exercise directly causes changes in happiness or if the two just happen to occur together often. It could be that happy people are more likely to take up exercise and continue with it than people who feel sad. In that case, exercise would not have helped to make people happy; rather, their happiness would have helped to make them exercisers.

但她表示,因为这篇论文综述中的大部分研究都是观察性的,所以,还不能确定是锻炼直接导致快乐感的改变,还是两者碰巧经常同时发生。情况可能是,快乐的人比悲伤的人更可能进行锻炼并坚持下去。如果是这样的话,那么,不是锻炼帮助人们快乐,而是快乐帮助他们成了锻炼者。

Happiness also is an inherently subjective, squishy concept. The studies analyzed in the review asked people how happy they felt. But one person’s happiness could be another’s relative gloom, making it difficult to generalize about how any of us might react, emotionally, to starting an exercise routine.

快乐也是一种本质上主观、模糊的概念。论文综述中分析的研究询问人们感觉自己有多快乐。但是,一个人心目中的快乐对于另一个人来说可能是相对低落,所以我们很难推断出,每个人在开始进行常规锻炼时情绪上的反应是怎样的。

And, of course, the review did not delve into how exercise could be influencing happiness.

当然,这篇论文综述没有深入探究锻炼是怎样影响幸福感的。

“There are indications that social factors could mediate the effects of exercise on happiness for some people,” Dr. Chen says. In other words, the social interactions that occur during an exercise class or trip to the gym might help to elevate people’s moods.

“有迹象表明,对某些人来说,社会因素可能是锻炼影响幸福感的中介因素,”陈蔚云说。换句话说,健身课程或前往健身房途中发生的社交活动可能有助于改善人们的情绪。

Or exercise could more directly change the body, including the brain.

锻炼也可能直接对身体产生影响,包括大脑。

“We know that exercise improves health,” Dr. Chen says, “and feeling healthier might make people feel happier.”

“我们知道锻炼可以改善健康,”陈蔚云说,“感觉更健康可能会让人感觉更快乐。”

Exercise might also remodel the brain, for example, by prompting the creation of new brain cells or inducing changes in brain chemicals, in ways that contribute to positive emotions.

锻炼有可能重塑大脑,例如促使大脑产生新的细胞,或促使大脑的化学物质发生变化,从而有助于产生积极情绪。

Dr. Chen hopes that future experiments will explore these issues. But for now, she says, “I think that we can safely say that people who exercise are probably going to be happier than people who don’t.”

陈蔚云希望未来的实验能够探索这些问题。但她表示,就目前而言,“我认为,我们可以有把握地说,锻炼的人很可能会比不锻炼的人更快乐。”

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