Fitness expert Rosemary Conley has warned families that children who do not get the recommended amount of exercise could find their long-term wellbeing is significantly affected.
Her comments came after a poll conducted for the Kennel Club found parents were having a hard time motivating their youngsters to get out and about, with 49 per cent claiming that the lure of television had proved the biggest distraction.
"I think the long-term dangers of an inactive childhood are immense," she observed. "So many different illnesses could be avoided if we took regular exercise. It doesn't have to be extreme."
Ms Conley pointed out that the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and a number of different cancers can all be reduced simply through taking moderate exercise on a regular basis.
She also added that with around 11 million people expected to live to the age of at least 100, it is more important than ever to stay fit for as long as possible.