Nine in ten toddlers are not getting enough exercise
According to the British Heart Foundation National Centre for Physical Activity and Health (BHFNC), just 9 per cent of two to four-year-olds are meeting the current guidelines.
Health experts advise the age group should have a least three hours of physical activity per day.
The BHFNC is calling on the Government to come up with policies which will help make exercise for under-fives part of everyday life at home, in nurseries and in the community.
It’s Director Elaine McNish said: “This manifesto is a call to policy makers to ensure that early years settings are supported to create active environments.
“We know that active children are more likely to become active adults so it’s vitally important to get it right at the beginning to give children opportunities to play from a young age and develop a lifelong love of being active.”
Statistics from the Health and Social Care Information Centre show one in 10 children in England were obese when starting primary school in England in 2014-15.
Although figures for Reception children have fallen slightly, the figures for obesity in Year 6 are on the rise.
Health experts are keen to highlight the benefits of being active.
They claim exercise is essential to support brain development, improve bone and muscular health, as well as helping social and cognitive skills.
Lisa Young, project manager for prevention and behaviour change at the British Heart Foundation, said: “We know that physical activity is an important component of a healthy lifestyle for everyone and the under-fives are no different.
It follows calls by a committee of MPs who want a ban on junk food ads during prime time TV shows such as The X Factor.
Their call is part of a tightening of UK ad rules to tackle the growing issue of childhood obesity.
For more information visit: www.nhs.uk