B1 Intermediate UK 2053 Folder Collection
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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!
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Do you lead a sedentary lifestyle? Watch 6 Minute English

2053 Folder Collection
Vvn Chen published on September 20, 2018
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