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  • Hello, I'm Neil. And welcome to 6 Minute English,  

  • where we vigorously discuss a new topic  and six related items of vocabulary.

  • And hello, I'm Rob. Today we're discussing  vigorous exerciseand whether adults take  

  • enough of it! Vigorous means using  a lot of energy to do something.

  • So how many steps do you do in a day, Rob?

  • How many steps? How should I know, Neil? –  It would be pretty hard to count them all.

  • Oh, come on! You can track  steps on your phone! I do ten  

  • thousand a daywhich is the magic number  for keeping fit and healthy, apparently.

  • Not if you saunter, Neil, surely? Sauntering from  

  • the sofa to the fridge and back  – Or from the house to the car.

  • Well, I never saunter, Rob. Saunter means  to walk slowly. And you'd have to make a  

  • lot of trips to the fridge to  clock up ten thousand steps.  

  • To get some vigorous exercise, you need to get  out and aboutround the park at a brisk pace

  • Brisk means quick and energeticthe opposite of  sauntering. OK, well, perhaps you can you tell me,  

  • Neil, how many people aged between 40 and 60 do  less than ten minutes brisk walking every month?  

  • Is it… a) 4%, 

  • b) 14% or c) 40%?

  • I'm going to say… 4% because ten  minutes is such a short amount of time!

  • Indeed. Now, I've got another question for youNeil. Why is exercise so important? Because it  

  • sounds pretty boringcounting stepsgoing to the gym, running on a machine.

  • Well, when you exercise, you stimulate  the body's natural repair system.  

  • Your body will actually stay  younger if you exercise!

  • That sounds good.

  • Exercise also lowers your  risk of developing illnesses  

  • such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

  • Hmm. I'm getting a bit worried now,  

  • Neil. But I don't have enough time to dothousand steps every day… I'm far too busy!

  • Well, Rob. Now might be a good time to listen  to Julia Bradbury. She's a TV presenter and  

  • outdoor walking enthusiast who will explain  how she builds walking into her busy life.

  • I will walk to meetings instead of catchingbus, or getting a taxi or a carinto meetings.  

  • And I will also, if I can't build that into my  working day, if it's a day when I haven't got  

  • meetings and I'm maybe at home with the kids,  I will take the time – I will take my kids out  

  • with the buggy and I will definitely do 30-40  minutes at least everyday. Going to the park,  

  • going to the shops, picking up my things  up en route, and really sort of building  

  • it into my life. Taking the stairs and not  taking lifts, all of these kinds of little  

  • decisions can incrementally build up to  create more walking time in your day.

  • So if you build something in to your dayor  your lifeyou include it from the beginning.

  • And Julia Bradbury has built walking into her day.  

  • Even though she's very busy tooRob! You should learn from her!

  • So she walks instead of driving or taking the bus.  

  • And takes the stairs instead of  the lift. I could do those things.

  • You could indeedbefore you know ityou'd be doing ten thousand stepsbecause  

  • the amount of walking you do  in a day builds incrementally.

  • Incrementally means gradually increasing in  size. OK, well, before I think that over, perhaps  

  • I could tell you the answer  to today's quiz question?

  • OK. You asked me: How many people aged between  40 and 60 do less than ten minutes brisk walking  

  • every month? The options were: a) 4%, 

  • b) 14% or c) 40%?

  • And you said 4%. But I'm afraid it's actually  40%. And that's according to the Government body  

  • Public Health England here in the UK. Oh dear, that's a lot more people than I expected.  

  • But it isn't that surprisingpeople in all age  groups are leading more sedentary lifestyles these  

  • days. Our job is very sedentarywhich means it  involves a lot of sitting and not much exercise!

  • Well, I might just run on the spot while we go  over the new vocabulary we've learned today!

  • Good plan. First up we heard 'vigorous' – which  means using a lot of energy to do something.

  • OK. “I am running vigorously on the spot!”

  • Great example! And good to see you taking some  vigorous exercise! Number two – 'saunter' – means  

  • to walk slowly in a relaxed way. “Whensaw Rob, I sauntered over to say hello.”

  • Hi Neil. Number three – 'briskmeans quick and energetic.

  • It's important to take some  brisk exercise every day.”

  • Yes! And I'm beginning to  realise that might be true.

  • Yep! I think you've done  enough jogging for today, Rob.  

  • You've probably done about a hundred steps. Is that all?  

  • OK, number fourif you 'build something in to  something' – you include it from the beginning.

  • It's important to build regular  exercise into your daily routine.”

  • Very good advice. Number five is 'incrementallywhich means gradually increasing in size.

  • Incremental is the adjective.  “The company has been making  

  • incremental changes to its pay structure.”

  • Does that mean we're getting a pay rise?

  • I doubt it! And finally, number six –  'sedentary' means sitting a lot and not  

  • taking much exercise. For example, “It's bad for  your health to lead such a sedentary lifestyle.”

  • Duly noted, Neil! Well, it's time to go nowBut if today's show has inspired you to step  

  • out and take more exercise, please  let us know by visiting our Twitter,  

  • Facebook and YouTube pages  and telling us about it!

  • Goodbye!

  • Bye bye!

  • Hello. This is 6 Minute English  from BBC Learning English. I'm Rob.

  • And I'm Sam.

  • With the outbreak of the coronavirus epidemicpeople in many countries around the world have  

  • started wearing face masks to protect both  themselves and others they come into contact with.  

  • In this programme we'll be asking  whether wearing masks in public  

  • can help prevent the spread of  coronavirus in the community.

  • Face masks have long been popular in some Asian  countries but with the spread of Covid- 19,  

  • they're increasingly being seen  in other parts of the world too.

  • Wearing a protective mask or face covering is  nothing new. Medical masks have a long history  

  • from the plagues of medieval Europe to nineteenth  century outbreaks of cholera in the United States,  

  • but when did they start to be commonly  used? That's my quiz question for today:  

  • when and where were face masks  first widely used? Was it:

  • a) 1855 in Vienna,

  • b) 1905 in Chicago, or

  • c) 1955 in London.

  • Well, you mentioned cholera outbreaks in  the US, so I'll say b) 1905 in Chicago.

  • Right Sam, we'll find out later if you were right.  

  • Now, face masks may inspire confidence but what is  the evidence that they actually protect the wearer  

  • from contracting the virus or prevent infected  people from spreading the virus to others?

  • Professor Robert West has conducted a review of  over twenty studies looking into the evidence.  

  • Here he is speaking to the BBC World  Service programme Health Check

  • The evidence is equivocal on it. It doesn't tell  you anything yet - hopefully that will change.  

  • So we're thrown back on first principles and this  is why, as in so many areas of public health,  

  • you get such a heated debate because people  are really relying on their opinion on things  

  • and you will have one group who  say, 'Well, it stands to reason',-  

  • the good old 'stands to reason' argument  – which is: obviously, if you've got a  

  • covering in front of your face, and you're  speaking or coughing into that covering,  

  • it's going to trap quite a lot of the  virus on the droplets you'll be emitting.

  • So far the evidence over whether face masks are  helpful or harmful is equivocaldifficult to  

  • interpret because it seems to have two opposite or  contradictory meanings. Based on current evidence,  

  • Professor West feels we cannot say  whether mask-wearing is beneficial.

  • Some evidence suggests that  wearing masks can prevent  

  • the disease spreading and  some suggests the opposite.

  • There may be reasons why wearing masks could  actually increase the spread of coronavirus.

  • However, for some people, it stands  to reason that masks are beneficial–  

  • meaning it is obviously true from the facts.

  • Actually, the evidence is far from obviousBut everyone has an opinion on the issue  

  • and after weeks of stressful lockdown, this  can lead to heated debatediscussion or  

  • argument in which people become angry and excited.

  • Up until recently, the World Health Organisation  said there were two groups who definitely  

  • should wear masks: people showing  symptoms of the virus and their carers.

  • But that left the problem of people  who have the virus without knowing it  

  • and maybe unintentionally emitting it  – sending something out into the air,  

  • for example a noise or smell, or in this casecoronavirus. In June the WHO advice changednow  

  • they say masks should be worn in public where  social distancing measures are not possible.

  • But the advantages of wearing masks might  be outweighed by other considerations,  

  • as Professor West explains

  • It could also have unfortunate negative  consequencesin terms of mask shamingthat  

  • people feel compelled to wear masks in situations  where it's actually not helpful and may be harmful  

  • because it's expected of them  and they feel that they would be  

  • judged if they didn't. But  I think in addition to that,  

  • one of the problems we have is that masks can  potentially create a false sense of security.

  • One negative effect is the practice of mask  shamingcriticising or humiliating someone  

  • for not wearing a face covering.

  • Another problem is that wearing masks might  create a false sense of security – a feeling  

  • of being safer than you really areIs that what happened in 1905 Rob?

  • Ah yes, today's quiz question. I asked you  when face masks were first widely used?

  • And I said, b) 1905 in Chicago.

  • Well done Sam, you were absolutely right! It  was 1905 in Chicago when Dr Alice Hamilton  

  • first noticed that carers wearing masks to  treat scarlet fever patients, did not get sick.

  • Interesting. Today we've been discussing  whether wearing masks helps prevent  

  • infected people emitting –  or sending out, coronavirus.

  • So far the evidence is equivocal –  unclear because it seems contradictory.  

  • In other words, we can't  say either way for certain.

  • But for some, it stands to reason - meaning it's  obviously true - that mask-wearing is a good idea.

  • This disagreement over wearing face coverings  

  • has started heated debatethat's  discussion which becomes angry or excited.

  • And this in turn has led to incidents of  

  • mask shamingcriticising or mocking  people for not wearing a face mask.

  • A final drawback is that masks  might give the wearer a false  

  • sense of securitythat's belief  that they are safe when they are not.

  • That's all we've got time for today.

  • Bye for now!

  • Bye!

  • Hello and welcome to 6 Minute English, I'm Neil.

  • And I'm Sam.

  • And in this programme we're looking  at the word objectification.

  • Objectification is when we  reduce people to objects.

  • An example of this is advertising and the media  and in particular the way women have been shown.  

  • Impossibly attractive and implausibly  perfect models in adverts and in movies  

  • and on TV you are much more likely to  see naked or half-naked women than men.

  • Objectification can lead to issues in  societysuch as inequality and discrimination.  

  • Objectification of women is a problem but  what about the objectification of men?

  • Before we hear more, it's time for a question.  

  • Today's question is: on British TV in which decade  was a completely naked man first seen? Was it

  • a) the 1940s

  • b) the 1950s

  • c) the 1960s

  • What do you think Sam?

  • I'm going for the 60s.

  • I'll give the answer later in the programme. Now  Sam, do you know the TV programme Love Island?

  • Yes, it's a kind of a dating show and all  the contestants - men and women - spend a  

  • lot of time in their swimming costumes  and they've all got perfect bodies.

  • Yes, that's right. It's a programme  that seems equally to objectify  

  • men and women equally. But is that a bad thingDr Peter Lucas is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy  

  • at the University of Central Lancashire. He spoke  on this topic on the BBC's Woman's Hour programme.  

  • What does he suggest might be the advantage  of featuring men with 'perfect' bodies?

  • If you look at the impact of TV series like  Love Island for instance, the producers  

  • of that programme present that as, have described  that as being aspirational for their audience.  

  • It's presenting role models, its presenting  models that people are supposed to aspire to.  

  • Now many women, thinking about the male bodies  that are on display there might think well, if it  

  • means that more men get off to the gym, look after  themselves physically, surely that's a good thing.

  • So what might be an advantage of these  highly fit athletic bodies on show?

  • Dr Lucas suggests that seeing those bodies  might encourage men to go to the gym  

  • and work hard to improve their fitness  and health and that could be a good thing.

  • Yes, the people in the programme  are described as role models.  

  • A role model is someone whose behaviour is  seen as a good example for others to copy.

  • I'm not sure the behaviour of the people in Love  Island makes them good role models, but perhaps  

  • from the point of view of their physical fitness  they give us something to aspire to. If you aspire  

  • to something, it's something you can aim forsomething you want to achieve. Dr Lucas also  

  • used a related word, aspirational. The TV series  Love Island was described as being aspirational.  

  • It shows a lifestyle that people would like  to have, something they might aim to achieve.

  • But there are also dangers to encouraging  people to get to the gym. Here's Dr Lucas again.

  • But also it's likely to generate higher  levels of narcissism, self-consciousness,  

  • becoming obsessive about your appearanceIt's not particularly an attractive feature  

  • either in men or in women and I suspect that's  impacting on men's behaviour in a way which  

  • is detrimental in the same sort of way that's  been detrimental for women really, for decades.

  • He talks about behaviour that is detrimentalthis means behaviour that has a negative impact.  

  • What behaviours does he say are detrimental?

  • If people become obsessed by their  appearance it could lead to narcissism.  

  • This is a condition where you spend so much  time focussing on yourself, your own looks,  

  • your own body that you stop  caring about anyone else.

  • And because it's very very  hard to get that kind of body  

  • it can also lead to people  being very self-conscious.  

  • They might become embarrassed about their bodies  and lose confidence in themselves as a result.

  • Right. It's almost time to review this week's  vocabulary, but before that let's have the  

  • answer to the quiz. In what decade was the  first naked man seen on British TV? Was it

  • a) the 1940s

  • b) the 1950s

  • c) the 1960s

  • What did you say, Sam?

  • I said c) the 60s.

  • I'm afraid the revolution had come earlier  than that. The correct answer is the 1950s.  

  • It was a 1957 documentary called Out of Steppart of which was filmed at a nudist colony.  

  • Now, time for our vocabulary.

  • Our first word was objectification. This  is the noun for when we reduce a human  

  • being to an object. We don't think of them asreal person anymore. The verb is to objectify.

  • Someone whose behaviour is a good example  that others want to copy is a role model.

  • When it comes to presenting 6 Minute  English, you are my role model, Neil.

  • You're too kind, and I aspire to  your level of professionalism, Sam.  

  • To aspire to - to aim to be, to hope to achieve.

  • That is related to the next word, aspirationalThis adjective is used to describe the desire to  

  • improve parts of you life - for examplegetting a better job or a better body.  

  • Aspirational TV programmes or adverts show  lifestyles that people might want to be theirs.

  • Our next word is an adjective for  something that is bad for you,  

  • something that has a negative  effect. The adjective is detrimental.

  • We heard that aspiring to the perfect body can be  detrimental because it might lead to narcissism.  

  • Narcissism is the term for someone  who is so obsessed with their own body  

  • and life that they don't care about anyone else.