Encouraging active play during childhood could help to tackle obesity in later life.
This is according to a recent piece of research from Bristol University, which analysed the importance of physical play in improving overall activity.
The report concluded that active play makes a "significant contribution" to overall activity levels.
Rowan Brockman, research student in the Department of Exercise, Nutrition and Health Sciences, said: "Active play makes a significant contribution to health-enhancing physical activity of many primary school children and may be a valuable focus for future interventions."
Preventing children's levels of activity from declining during adolescence could help reduce the future risk of cardiovascular disease and obesity, said the scientists.
A recent study conducted by Datamonitor revealed that 34.7 per cent of children in the UK aged between five and 13 are classified as obese or overweight.
This number is expected to rise by 2.1 per cent year-on-year until 2014.