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赤脚走路对脚底有好处

Going Barefoot Is Good for the Sole
赤脚走路对脚底有好处
1019字
2019-07-10 19:35
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赤脚走路对脚底有好处

Evolutionary biologist Daniel E. Lieberman caused an international stir nearly a decade ago when he published a paper showing that running in cushioned sneakers encourages people to hit the ground harder than running barefoot.

进化生物学家丹尼尔·E·利伯曼(Daniel E. Lieberman)近10年前发表的一篇论文在国际上引起了轰动,他的论文显示,穿软垫运动鞋跑步比赤脚跑步更能鼓励人们着地。

Lieberman, a professor of biological sciences at Harvard University, also started running barefoot himself as an experiment and kept doing it because he enjoyed it. Every spring, after running the Boston Marathon, he would trade his traditional sneakers for a pair of minimal shoes or no footwear at all. The more he ran barefoot, the more callused and protected his feet became. “But I could still feel the ground just as well as when my calluses were really thin,” Lieberman says. From an evolutionary standpoint, it made sense that callused feet would still feel: they are the body’s only contact with the ground, and ancient people could not afford to lose that sensation, he thought.

利伯曼是哈佛大学生物科学教授,他也开始赤脚跑步作为一项实验,并一直坚持下去,因为他喜欢赤脚跑步。每年春天,在跑完波士顿马拉松后,他都会用自己的传统运动鞋换一双最简单的鞋,或者干脆不/穿鞋。他赤脚跑得越多,脚上的胼胝和保护就越多。利伯曼说:“但我仍然能感觉到地面,就像我的胼胝非常薄的时候一样。”他认为,从进化的角度来看,有胼胝的脚仍然有感觉是有道理的:它们是身体与地面唯一的接触,而古人不能失去这种感觉。

Now Lieberman and his colleagues at Harvard and in Germany and Kenya have conducted another study, published Wednesday in Nature, that confirms his suspicions. It finds that although calluses thicken as people walk barefoot more often, there is no trade-off in sensation from that extra protection. Essentially, the hard surface of the callus transmits mechanical force through the foot to the nerves deep inside the skin equally well as an unprotected sole.

现在,利伯曼和他在哈佛大学、德国和肯尼亚的同事进行了另一项研究,该研究周三发表在《自然》杂志上,证实了他的怀疑。研究发现尽管人们更经常赤脚走路时胼胝变厚,但是没有权衡这种额外保护带来的感觉丧失。从本质上讲,坚硬的愈伤组织表面将机械力通过足部传递到皮肤深处的神经,就像没有保护的鞋底一样。

Calluses are made out of the protein keratin, the same material as fingernails, glued together with another special protein. “There’s no viscosity to calluses, so forces from the ground go right into deeper layers of skin, and you don’t lose any information,” Lieberman says.

胼胝是由角蛋白(与指甲的材质相同)和另一种特殊的蛋白质粘合而成。利伯曼说:“胼胝没有粘性,所以来自地面的力量直接进入皮肤深层,你不会失去任何信息。”

Lieberman and his colleagues measured the sensitivity of the sole to mechanical stimuli, showing that people with thick calluses were as sensitive to vibrations as those with thin or no calluses. The researchers compared calluses and foot sensitivity among 81 people from western Kenya, some of whom regularly went without footwear and some of whom did not. They also collected similar data from 22 people in Boston.

利伯曼和他的同事们测量了鞋底对机械刺激的敏感度,结果表明,长有厚老茧的人对震动的敏感度与长有薄老茧或没有老茧的人一样高。研究人员比较了81名来自肯尼亚西部的人的老茧和足部敏感度,其中一些人经常不/穿鞋,而另一些人则完全不/穿。他们还从波士顿的22个人那里收集了类似的数据。

With cushioned shoes, the stiffness of the sole slows the rate at which the body hits the ground, making the impact more comfortable, but the force is the same, Lieberman says. “The energy that gets shot up your leg is about three times bigger in a cushioned shoe than if you’re barefoot,” he says, adding that “we have no idea what that means” for joint health. It is theoretically possible, he says, that this extra impact is behind the doubling of rates of arthritis of the knee since World War II—about the time that technological advances in footwear design allowed for more cushioned soles. But there is no solid evidence to support such a connection.

利伯曼说,有缓冲垫的鞋子,鞋底的硬度会减缓身体着地的速度,使撞击更舒适,但力度是一样的。他说:“穿软垫鞋时,腿部积聚的能量是赤脚时的三倍。”他还说,“我们不知道这对关节健康意味着什么。”他说,从理论上讲,这种额外的影响有可能是二战以来膝盖关节炎发病率翻倍的原因——大约在那个时候,在鞋子设计上的技术进步使得鞋底有了更多的缓冲。但没有确凿的证据支持这种联系。

In some ways, walking barefoot is better for the body than wearing deeply cushioned soles, Lieberman says. But he insists he is not antifootwear: “I’m not saying people shouldn’t wear shoes.” Rather he thinks that scientists do not yet understand the impact of footwear on the body over the course of millions of steps. Lieberman says it would be challenging to study the effects of wearing shoes for millions upon millions of steps over the course of 70-plus years in humans, but he is currently exploring the impact of such cushioning on animal locomotion.

利伯曼说,从某些方面来说,赤脚走路比穿垫得很厚的鞋底对身体更有好处。但他坚称自己不反对穿鞋:“我不是说人们不应该穿鞋。相反,他认为科学家们还不了解鞋子在数百万步的过程中对人体的影响。利伯曼说,在人类70多年的时间里,要研究穿鞋走数百万步的效果是很有挑战性的,但他目前正在探索这种减震对动物运动的影响。

Balance might also be a casualty of soft soles. People’s feet become less sensitive as they age. If they have also lost touch with the ground, they might become more vulnerable to falls, Lieberman explains. “If your feet can’t sense what’s going on on the ground, maybe you’re more susceptible and more vulnerable [to falls], and shoes may be a part of that,” he says. “If we can give people’s brains, their reflexes, more information, that might help them.”

平衡也可能是软鞋底的受害者。随着年龄的增长,人们的脚变得不那么敏感了。利伯曼解释说,如果他们也失去了与地面的联系,他们可能更容易跌倒。他说:“如果你的脚感觉不到地面上发生了什么,也许你更容易跌倒,更容易受伤,鞋子可能是其中的一部分。”“如果我们能给人们的大脑,他们的反身动作,更多的信息,这可能会帮助他们。”

Gymnasts and martial artists go barefoot to increase their connection with the ground, and Formula One race car drivers wear hard-soled shoes that actually boost their sensitivity, according to one study.

一项研究显示,体操运动员和武术家赤脚是为了增加与地面的联系,一级方程式赛车手穿的是硬底鞋,这实际上提高了他们的敏感度。

With today’s cushioned shoes, “we add comfort, but we reduce functionality,” says Thorsten Sterzing, a footwear scientist who designs high-performance shoes. He was not involved in the new research but hopes to build on it in his own work. Too often, people opt for footwear that fits society’s idea of beauty, yet that does not promote healthy walking, he says. Studies like Lieberman’s can lead to better-designed shoes that complement the body’s natural abilities rather than undermine them.

设计高性能鞋子的鞋类科学家托尔斯滕•斯特辛(Thorsten Sterzing)表示,如今的减震鞋“增加了舒适度,但降低了功能性”。他没有参与这项新研究,但希望能在自己的工作中加以发展。他说,人们往往选择符合社会审美观念的鞋子,但这并不会促进健康步行。像利伯曼这样的研究可以设计出更好的鞋子,来补充身体的自然能力,而不是破坏它们。

Kristiaan D’Août, a senior lecturer in musculoskeletal biology at the University of Liverpool in England, says the foot is one of the least understood structures in the body because of individual variation, the complexity of foot bones and ligaments, and because so much of what happens inside the foot is impossible to see. D’Août was not involved in the recent paper, but he conducts related work and wrote a commentary about the study that appears in the same issue of Nature. In one of his research studies, D’Août had participants wear minimal shoes for six months. Although they were uncomfortable at first, “quite a few people prefer them now,” he says. “One of the things that I would really hope would come out of this research and footwear research in general is that people will start to realize that shoes can be quite invasive.” (D’Août admits he usually wears regular shoes himself because of the wet, gloomy weather in Liverpool.)

英国利物浦大学肌肉骨骼生物学高级讲师KristiaanD'Août说,由于个体差异、足部骨骼和韧带的复杂性,脚是人体中最不了解的结构之一,因为 脚内部发生的事情是不可能看到的。 D'Août没有参与最近的论文,但是他进行了相关的工作,并就发表在同一期《自然》杂志上的这项研究写了一篇评论。在他的一项研究中,D'Août让参与者六个月尽量不/穿鞋。 虽然一开始不舒服,但他说,“现在很多人更喜欢它们。”“我真心希望这项研究和鞋类研究能让人们开始意识到,鞋子可能具有相当大的侵入性。(D'Août承认因为利物浦潮湿阴沉的天气,他自己经常穿着普通的鞋子。)

People have probably been wearing shoes for about 40,000 years, Lieberman says, although some suspect that Neandertals remained shoeless. In some parts of the world, including India and Kenya, where Lieberman conducts research, many people still go their whole lives without wearing shoes. “I find it unimaginable to be barefoot in middle of Europe in the Ice Age, but then again, all the other animals in Europe during the Ice Age were barefoot—so maybe our cousins, the Neandertals, were able to handle it just fine,” Lieberman says.

利伯曼说,尽管人类穿鞋的历史可能已经有4万年了,但仍然有人怀疑尼安德特人没穿过鞋。在世界上的一些地方,包括印度和肯尼亚,利伯曼在这些地方进行研究,很多人一辈子都不/穿鞋。利伯曼说:“我觉得在冰河时代的欧洲中部光脚是不可想象的,但话说回来,在冰河时代的欧洲,所有其他动物都是光脚的,所以也许我们的近亲尼安德特人能够很好地应对这种情况。”

Still, he says, he has no plans to test going barefoot himself during a New England winter.

不过,他说,他不打算在新英格兰的冬天亲自尝试赤脚行走。

ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)

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Karen Weintraub

凯伦·温特劳布

Karen Weintraub is a freelance health and science journalist who writes regularly for the New York Times, STAT and USA Today, among others.

凯伦·温特劳布(Karen Weintraub)是一名自由职业健康和科学记者,定期为《纽/约/时/报》、《统计》(STAT)和《今日美国》(USA Today)等杂志撰稿。

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