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上下班路上时间长?看看通勤时刻的好处

更新时间:2018-8-21 19:59:16 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

The neglected benefits of the commute
上下班路上时间长?看看通勤时刻的好处

It can be disheartening to recognise the amount of time we spend in transit. The average Londoner passes more than 40 minutes on each leg of their journey to work, for instance. That means we spend about as much time on the commute as we do socialising or practicing our hobbies. This may be the longest average journey time in Europe, but many other global cities have it even worse.

统计下大家在通勤上花的时间,结果叫人沮丧。以伦敦上班族为例,平均通勤时间长达四十多分钟。这意味着我们在通勤上花费的时间几乎与花费在社交和消遣上的时间差不多。虽说英国的平均通勤时间在欧洲地区是最长的,可其他国际都市更甚。

Who wouldn’t rather spend that time with their friends, at the gym – or simply vegging out in front of the TV? But a series of studies published during the last couple of years suggest that commuting does have its upsides – particularly if you are taking public transport. And recognising those advantages might just make that journey a little less gruelling.

谁不愿花这些时间与家人朋友相处、去健身房锻炼,或只是懒懒地坐在电视机前放松休息?但近些年间发表的研究显示,通勤也有好处,尤其是搭乘公共交通工具。如果能意识到这些好处,上下班的旅途也就不那么痛苦了。

Accelerated learning

加速学习

Consider the morning commute. There is no doubt that the stresses of a crowded bus or train can leave you feeling exhausted before you have even arrived at work, but some striking research by Jon Jachimowicz at Columbia Business School has shown that you don’t need to feel this drained.

在你到达工作地点之前,经历"地狱般"的早高峰,搭乘拥挤的巴士和地铁毫无疑问地已叫人精疲力竭。但哥伦比亚大学商学院(Columbia Business School)教授贾奇莫维茨(Jon Jachimowicz)却有惊人发现,研究表明其实大可不必如此疲惫。

He has found that people who engage in “work-related prospection”– that is, thinking and planning about the day and week ahead and the steps you need to take to achieve your career goals – tend to weather the stresses of the journey better than people whose minds wander aimlessly. This translated to greater job satisfaction throughout the day.

他发现,比起漫无目的的人,那些擅于做"工作前瞻"(指的是提前思索与规划未来并设定达成职业目标的步骤)的人能更好地适应通勤路上的压力,无形中也增加了职场满意度。

Jachimowicz suspects that these benefits come from the fact that it eases the conflict we feel between our roles at home and our roles at work. After all, your behaviour at home – as a flatmate, spouse or parent – will be very different from the ways you are expected to act at work. And some people don’t switch between the roles very naturally, creating a sense of conflict that can compound work-related stress.

贾奇莫维茨猜测,这些好处源于这样一个事实:长途通勤消弭了上班族在家庭角色与工作角色间的冲突。毕竟,在家里,你可能是室友、配偶或家长。个人在家庭中的行为表现与职场里所期待的表现必然大相径庭。有些人无法在不同角色之间自由切换,便会造成一种冲突感,从而加重了工作压力。

“When we’re stuck in between these two roles – this thing that researchers call ‘role ambiguity’ – we feel conflict, and that leads to a lot of negative outcomes,” Jachimowicz says – such as feelings of exhaustion and burnout.

"当我们夹在这两个角色之间时——研究人员称之为'角色模糊'——就会感觉冲突,从而造成很多负面结果,像是疲惫感、倦怠感等" ,贾奇莫维茨说。

A few moments thinking about the day in front of you can therefore ease the change of gears, reducing the stress once you arrive in the office, he says. “The time period between leaving home and arriving at work is really a wonderful opportunity that people could use to transition between the two roles.”

他补充说道,上班途中花些时间想想即将到来的这一天能缓冲换挡,减轻上班前的压力。"从离家到上班,这段时间真的是绝佳机会,可以利用这个机会做角色转换。"

The evening commute, meanwhile, may be a good time to consolidate your memory of the things you have learnt throughout the day. Francesca Gino at Harvard Business School asked trainee IT workers to spend 15 minutes of reflection at the end of each day. By the end of their course, they performed 20% better than people who had instead spent that period on additional active practice. Gino’s participants were, admittedly, reflecting on their work from the comfort of their office – but there’s no reason why you can’t use your commute to quietly reflect on the day’s lessons.

而下班路途则是在整合白天所学巩固记忆的好时机。哈佛大学商业学院(Harvard Business School)的吉诺(Francesca Gino)要求作为信息科技行业培训生在一天结束前花十五分钟自我反思。培训期结束后,与那些在同时段里进行其他练习的学生相比,吉诺的培训生表现更好,整体绩效高出20%。诚然,这些培训者表现优秀很可能得益于他们在舒适的办公室里反思——但上班族完全可以利用通勤时间来静心反思当天的所失所得。

Many people prefer a more involved distraction, of course – and it is worth remembering just how productive those snatched moments can be in the long term. As BBC Capital recently revealed, someone who spends around six hours commuting each week could read (or listen to) a 100,000 word book in that time. Or you might decide to learn a language. Neuroscience shows that we often learn best when we study in spaced chunks – and the commute is an ideal time to put that principle into practice.

当然很多人可能会被其他事分散注意力。可要记住,从长远来看,把握这些光阴能产生巨大效益。近期,英国广播公司(BBC)Capital栏目的一篇报道提到,一个人每周6小时左右的通勤时间里能读(或听)一本10万字的书,甚至学一门语言。神经科学相关研究表明,间歇式模块化学习的效果最佳,而通勤路上则是将这一方法付诸实践的理想时间。

Even if you simply let your mind wander, you may find that yourself unexpectedly solving a knotty problem – with evidence that periods of mindless distraction can lead to momentary sparks of creativity.

就算这段时间里你一不小心任由心思神驰,你很可能出乎意料地发现自己思考解决了一个棘手的难题——有研究表明,漫无目的的分神放空有时能让脑海擦出创意的火花。

You don’t need to spend too long on any of these activities – in between checking your Instagram and Twitter feeds – but if you do devote a little time to reflection, your commute could help to enhance your sense of achievement and your productivity.

你无需在思考或学习上花费太多的时间——就利用刷社交网络平台的段子与图片的间隙即可——但倘若你真愿意花点时间来反思,通勤将有助于增强你的成就感,提升工作效率。

Slimming down

纤体瘦身

Your daily ordeal may also bring unexpected benefits to your physical health. A study of Taiwanese commuters, for instance, found that people who used public transport were about 15% less likely to be overweight compared to those who travelled to work in the car. Crucially, the relationship holds even when you account for other potential factors like socioeconomic status that might also influence fitness.

日复一日的"舟车劳顿"对身体健康也有意想不到的好处。一项针对台湾通勤族的研究发现,搭乘公交的上班族比那些开车通勤的人患肥胖的概率要低15%。更重要的是,即便将其他影响身材的潜在因素如社会经济地位等纳入考虑范围,通勤与身体健康仍存在关联性。

OK, a bus or train journey doesn’t carry the same physical demands as a Zumba class. But it typically does require a stroll to and from your station or bus stop, and the Taiwanese study suggested that these short bursts of activity can add up to a meaningful difference in fitness.

的确,乘公交搭地铁肯定不如上一堂尊巴舞课那么耗体力。但一般来说,去公交站或地铁站通常需要步行一段路。而据上文提到的台湾通勤族研究表明,日积月累,这些短时间的运动对健康有显著的积极影响。

To find out more, Richard Patterson at Imperial College London analysed detailed data from the English National Travel Survey, allowing him to determine exactly how much exercise the average commuter gleans from their daily journey. He found that roughly a third of public transport commuters met the government’s recommendations of 30-minutes exercise a day, through their commute alone.

为了进一步证明通勤与健康的联系,伦敦帝国学院(Imperial College London)的帕特森(Richard Patterson)从英国国家出行调研调取详细数据并进行分析,由此得出通勤者从他们日常通勤路途中所获得的平均运动量。他发现,在搭乘公交的通勤者中,有约三分之一达到了政府建议的每日三十分钟的锻炼时间标准。

Reframing

认知重构

Patterson points out that governments could consider these benefits when they decide their funding for transport networks, since encouraging people to give up their cars and take a train or bus could end up having a real effect on public health. In the UK, for instance, he calculates that a 10% increase in the use of public transport could result in 1.2 million more people reaching the recommended levels of physical activity. “Some decisions, which may not seem to have much to do with health, can have these knock-on effects for people’s wellbeing,” he says.

帕特森指出,政府拨款进行交通体系建设时应当考虑到这些益处,因为鼓励人们不用私家车而搭乘地铁或巴士上班的确对公众健康有切实效果。据他估算,以英国为例,一旦公共交通使用率提高10%,会额外让全国120万人达到建议的锻炼标准。他说:"一些政府决策看起来与国民健康无直接关联,却可能对国民幸福产生连锁效应。"

Patterson certainly wouldn’t claim that your commute could replace regular visits to the gym but recognising these gains could surely take some of the sting out of a frustrating journey.

当然,帕特森可不是在宣称光通勤就能完全替代健身房锻炼,可若能意识到这些益处,原本令人痛苦的通勤路也会少些烦忧。

After all, psychological research has repeatedly shown that the stress of an event is often highly dependent on the way we frame it. Two situations – which are ostensibly equal on every objective measure – may have subtly different effects depending on our own interpretation, such whether it feels like we have autonomy, for instance, and whether it feels like it is contributing to a greater goal. These changes aren’t just subjective: they are reflected in physiological measures, such as fluctuations in the stress hormone cortisol.

毕竟,心理学研究已一再表明,一起事件造成的心理压力高度依赖于我们对其的构建方式。客观条件几乎别无二致的两种情形会因我们自身的理解而产生微妙的结果差异。例如,对是否拥有自主权的认知、对事物有否助于达成宏大目标的判断等都会影响压力水平,具体表现在生理指标上则是"压力荷尔蒙"(皮质醇)的波动等。

Recognising and reappraising the commute’s benefits, so that they no longer feel like ‘wasted’ hours, could therefore have a real effect on your overall experience so that it no longer casts such a shadow over your day.

试着去认识并重估通勤的好处吧!你就不会觉得自己在"蹉跎"时光了。如此一来,你的体验会好很多,生活也不会再受阴影笼罩。

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