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  • Catherine: Hello and welcome to 6 Minute

  • English. I'm Catherine.

  • Dan: And I'm Dan.

  • Catherine: Now Dan, would you say you

  • had a sedentary lifestyle at all?

  • Dan: If I only went to work, yes, I would

  • have a pretty sedentary life. I sit on the

  • tube, I sit at my desk or in the studio for

  • most of the day. But because I know

  • that's not good for my health, I do also

  • like to go to the gym a couple of times

  • a week and I'll do some exercise,

  • like a bike ride or playing football at the

  • weekend. So, my job

  • is pretty sedentary, but not my life.

  • Catherine: Nice answer, Dan. And our

  • topic today is about how one country in

  • particular has been very successful

  • in dealing with the problem of

  • a sedentary population. But before

  • we find out more, here is today's question.

  • According to a recent survey, how long

  • does the average person in the UK spend

  • sitting down every day? Is it:

  • a) between 6 and 7 hours, b) between 7

  • and 8 hours or c) between 8 and 9 hours?

  • So, Dan, what do you think?

  • Dan: Based on my day, it would be

  • between 8 and 9 hours, but I don't know if

  • I am an average person! So I'm interested

  • to learn the answer for myself.

  • Catherine: We'll find out the answer later

  • in the programme. Now, 40 years ago

  • Finland was perhaps the unhealthiest

  • country in the Western world.

  • But now, it's one of the healthiest.

  • Dan: Death by heart disease in Finland

  • has fallen by 80% and life expectancy, the

  • age at which the average person lives

  • until, has risen by 10 years.

  • Catherine: How has this been achieved?

  • This was investigated on BBC Radio 4's

  • You and Yours programme and one of the

  • ways Finland has improved

  • the health of the nation is by

  • a lot of state involvement. BBC reporter

  • John Laurenson describes in a humorous

  • way how this works. How does he

  • describe someone with

  • many health problems?

  • John Laurenson: If you're an exercise

  • shirker because you're fat or old or

  • asthmatic or chained to your computer or

  • just plain lazy or all of those things rolled

  • into one super-health disaster zone,

  • they will come to you in the form perhaps,

  • of a stern lady with a clipboard and

  • make some firm suggestions.

  • They won't actually drag you off your

  • PlayStation, out of your nursing home or

  • out of the pub but they do get quite close.

  • Catherine: How did he describe someone

  • with a lot of health problems, Dan?

  • Dan: Well, he wasn't very complimentary,

  • and we should emphasise that this report

  • is quite tongue-in-cheek, which means

  • that it's meant to be funny and shouldn't

  • be taken seriously

  • but he called the people with many health

  • problems 'super-health disaster zones'.

  • Catherine: 'Super-health disaster zones'.

  • So what other vocabulary can we pick

  • from what he said?

  • Dan: He talked about being an exercise

  • shirker. A shirker is someone who avoids

  • doing something usually because they are

  • being lazy. It's also a verb, to shirk.

  • Catherine: Laurenson says that if you are

  • an exercise shirker or indeed a

  • super-health disaster zone, someone

  • from the authorities will come and visit

  • you. In another tongue-in-cheek

  • description he says that this visitor might

  • be a stern lady with a clipboard.

  • Dan: Stern is an adjective which means

  • very serious and strict, someone without

  • a sense of humour who might be quite

  • angry. And in his description the reporter

  • says that this stern lady will have a

  • clipboard. It's a hard board you can attach

  • papers to so you can write on the paper

  • while you are moving around.

  • Catherine: So we have this image of an

  • angry lady arriving at your house to tell

  • you off for your health habits and make

  • you live a healthier life.

  • Dan: But he does point out that they won't

  • actually drag you out of your house to do

  • exercise. However, in the report he goes on

  • to say that there is lot of encouragement,

  • even from school age, to eat well

  • and take regular exercise.

  • Catherine: Well, before a stern lady with

  • a clipboard comes and tells us off for not

  • finishing on time, let's get the answer to

  • today's quiz. According to a recent survey,

  • how long does the average person in the

  • UK spend sitting down every day? Is it:

  • a) between 6 and 7 hours,

  • b) between 7 and 8 hours or

  • c) between 8 and 9 hours?

  • Dan: And I said I had no idea.

  • Catherine: Well, the answer was c),

  • Dan - between 8 and 9 hours.

  • In fact, it was 8 and a quarter hours.

  • By comparison, in Finland,

  • it's less than 6 hours.

  • Dan: I guess we are a lot more

  • sedentary in Britain.

  • Catherine: And sedentary is our first word

  • in our vocabulary review. It's an adjective

  • used to describe a lifestyle which involves

  • a lot of sitting and not much exercise.

  • Dan: And if you are very sedentary, it can

  • lead to a lower life expectancy.

  • Life expectancy, the age to which you

  • are expected to live.

  • Catherine: Next we had the word shirker

  • for someone who avoids doing

  • something they don't like, usually

  • because they are lazy. For example,

  • an exercise shirker avoids exercise.

  • Dan: Something that is said

  • tongue-in-cheek is meant to be humorous

  • and not taken seriously.

  • Catherine: If you are stern though, you

  • want to be taken seriously. It's an

  • adjective that means serious and strict.

  • Dan: And finally there's clipboard. A board

  • you attach papers to so you write on them

  • as you walk around.

  • Catherine: Well, Dan, it's time for us to

  • go and get some exercise. Join us again

  • next time and remember you can find us

  • on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube

  • and of course our website

  • bbclearningenglish.com.

  • See you soon, bye.

  • Dan: Bye!

Catherine: Hello and welcome to 6 Minute

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B1 UK dan catherine sedentary exercise stern health

Do you lead a sedentary lifestyle? Watch 6 Minute English

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    Vivian Chen posted on 2018/09/20
Video vocabulary