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我们真的需要每天走一万步吗?

更新时间:2019/9/19 20:46:57 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Do we need to walk 10,000 steps a day?
我们真的需要每天走一万步吗?

Many of us track our steps with smart watches, pedometers or phone apps and are of course thrilled when we reach that all-important daily goal of 10,000 steps. With the app I use, green confetti tumbles down the screen in congratulation. The app logs “strikes”, too, challenging me to see how often I can manage a week-long stretch above 10,000 steps a day. Answer: rarely.

很多人会用智能手表、计步器或者手机应用软件来记录自己每天走的步数,完成一万步的目标就会特别兴奋。我使用的手机应用软件中,会有绿色的五彩纸花从屏幕上飘落下来表示祝贺。这款运动软件还能记录当天有没有“罢工”,这很有刺激性,我也很想看看自己一周内有多少天完成日行一万步以上的记录。结果是:没几天。

There are debates over the accuracy of some step-counters and it’s obvious that they’re a blunt instrument in terms of measuring exercise. If you sprint, your score is no higher than if you dawdle, yet there’s a real difference in terms of benefits to fitness. Still, they do provide a rough guide to how active you’ve been.

有人对一些计步器的准确性存在异议,显然,就测量运动量而言,这些计步器很迟钝,比如说你快跑时的分数并不比闲逛时的分数高,但是在促进健身运动方面起了一定的作用。尽管不精准,但计步器还是能粗略的估算出你的运动量。

If you are going to count steps, the magnitude of your goal matters. Most tracking devices are set to a default goal of 10,000 steps – the famous number that we all know we should reach. You might assume that this number has emerged after years of research to ascertain whether 8,000, 10,000 or maybe 12,000 might be ideal for long-term health. In fact, no such large body of research exists.

如果要计算步数,目标的大小很重要。大多数跟踪设备的默认目标都被设置为10000步。这个“标准目标”数字是大家都想完成的。你可能会认为,这个数字是经过多年研究得出的。事实上,保持长期健康到底该走8000步、10000步还是12000步,这个从来没有人做过大规模的研究。

The magic number “10,000” dates back to a marketing campaign conducted shortly before the start of the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games. A company began selling a pedometer called the Manpo-kei: “man” meaning 10,000, “po” meaning steps and “kei” meaning meter. It was hugely successful and the number seems to have stuck.

这个神奇的数字“10000”,可以追溯到1964年东京奥运会开幕前的一次营销活动。一家公司当时开始销售一种名为“万歩計”(Manpo-kei)的产品。这个产品的营销活动大获成功,之后这个数字就一直被保持了下来。

Since then, studies have compared the health benefits of 5,000 versus 10,000 steps and, not surprisingly, the higher number is better. But until recently, all the numbers in between hadn’t been studied. Even now they haven’t been comprehensively tested on the general adult population. New research from I-Min Lee, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, and her team focused on a group of more than 16,000 women in their seventies, comparing the numbers of steps taken each day with the likelihood of dying from any cause – known as all-cause mortality. Each woman spent a week wearing a device to measure movement during waking hours. Then the researchers waited.

从那时起,有人开始比较走5000步和10000步对健康的好处,结果不出意料,步数越高越好。但直到最近,才有人开始研究介于这两个数字之间的效果。即使到现在,也没人在普通成年人中进行全面的测试。哈佛医学院的医学教授李益民(I-Min Lee)和她的团队对16000多名70多岁的女性进行了一项新研究。他们对试验者每天走的步数与死于任何原因的可能性(即全因死亡率)进行了比较。每位受试女性需佩戴一个测量清醒时运动量的设备,为时一周。然后研究人员等待结果。

When they followed the women up an average of four years and three months later, 504 had died. How many steps do you think the survivors had been doing? Was it the magic 10,000 steps a day?

追踪受试者平均4年零3个月后,有504名受试者死亡。那么,剩下的幸存者每天到底走了多少步?是神奇的10000步吗?

In fact, the average number for survivors was only 5,500 – and incremental gains in steps mattered. Women who took more than 4,000 steps a day were significantly more likely to still be alive than those who did only 2,700 steps. It’s surprising that such a small difference could have consequences for something as critical as longevity.

事实上,幸存者每天平均步数是5500步,并且每增加一些步数所带来的影响都很明显。每天走4000多步的女性明显比每天只走2700步左右的女性存活率更高。令人惊讶的是,如此微小的差异竟会对寿命产生影响。

By that logic, you might assume the more steps they took, the better. For a range of steps that was true – but only up to 7,500 steps a day, after which the benefits then plateaued. Any more than that made no difference to life expectancy.

按照这种推理,人们可能会认为走得越多越好。在某个范围内确实如此,但一个人每天在步行7500步之后,益处就没那么明显了,对预期寿命也没有多少影响。

Of course, one drawback of this study is that we can’t be certain that the steps preceded the illness that killed them. The researchers only included women who were fit enough to walk outside their home and they did ask people to rate their own health, but perhaps there were some participants who were well enough to walk, but already not well enough to walk very far. In other words, they walked less steps because they were already unwell, and the steps themselves made no difference.

当然,这项研究有一个漏洞,那就是研究人员无法确定这些女性罹患致死疾病之前所走的步数。而且研究人员选择身体健康可以出门散步的女性,虽然测试前让受试者评估了自己的健康状况,但有一些参与者身体虽然健康可以散步,但已经不能走太远。换句话说,他们因为身体不舒服本身就走得很少,在这种情况下得出的步数就没什么意义了。

But for this age group, this study suggests that maybe 7,500 is enough – although it’s possible that extra steps could confer additional protection against specific conditions. The higher step count could also have been an indicator of women who had generally been more active throughout their lives, and it was this that helped them to live longer. For this reason, it is hard to unravel the exact health benefits of extra steps alone.

这项研究表明,对于这个年龄段的人来说,7500步就足够了。尽管多走一些更有益健康。步数越多也说明受试者平时运动量就大一些,正是这一点延长了她们的预期寿命。出于这个原因,仅靠额外增加的步数,很难证明对健康的确切益处。

Then there’s the question of the optimum step count in psychological terms. The 10,000 target can seem like a high goal to achieve every single day, which might tempt you not to bother. Consistently failing to achieve your goal day after day is dispiriting. In a study of British teenagers, at first the 13 and 14-year-olds enjoyed the novelty of being given the target, but they soon realised how difficult it was to maintain and complained that it wasn’t fair.

除此之外,“最佳步数”这个问题还与心理有关。每天走10000步是一个很高的目标,这种高目标让许多人懒得去努力,达不到目标日复一日地失败是令人沮丧的。在一项针对英国青少年的研究中显示,13岁和14岁的孩子们一开始很享受追求目标的新鲜感,但他们很快就意识到持之以恒有多难,并开始抱怨不公。

I’ve done my own psychological experiment on myself by changing the default goal on my app to 9,000 steps. I kid myself that I do the other thousand walking around at home when I’m not carrying my phone, but in truth I just want to encourage myself by succeeding more often.

我在自己身上做了一个心理实验,把应用软件的默认目标改为9000步。我骗自己,当没带手机的时候,我也会在家里四处走动,事实上,我只是想通过提高完成率来鼓励自己。

To raise the step count of the most sedentary, a lower goal might be better psychologically.

要想让久坐不动者多走动,设定较低的目标在心理层面来说可能效果更好。

But even then, counting steps at all risks robbing us of the intrinsic pleasure of walking. Jordan Etkin, a psychologist at Duke University in the US, found that people who tracked their steps did walk further, but they enjoyed it less, saying it felt like work. When they were assessed at the end of the day, their happiness levels were lower than in those who had walked without their steps being tracked.

不顾一切只为完成步数,这会剥夺我们走路时的乐趣。美国杜克大学(Duke University)心理学家埃特金(Jordan Etkin)发现,记录自己步数的人确实走得更远,但他们并不那么喜欢走路,感觉像是在完成一项工作。当一天结束评估时,他们的快乐指数比那些没有记录的人要低。

Counting steps might be counterproductive for the fittest too – signalling that they should stop once they’ve reached the magic 10,000 instead of getting fitter by, say, doing more.

对身体非常健壮的人来说,计算步数可能会适得其反,因为这暗示他们,走到10000步就应该停下来,不需要做更多的锻炼来提升健康水平。

What can we conclude from all of this? Count if you find it motivates you, but remember there’s nothing special about 10,000 steps. Set the goal that is right for you. It might be more, it might be less – or it might be throwing out your tracker entirely.

我们从这些研究中得出的结论是:如果你觉得记录步数能激励你,那就这么做吧,但是记住,一万步并没有什么特别的意义。要设定适合自己的目标。这个数字可以比一万步多,也可以比一万步少。或者你完全可以抛弃计步器。

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