Page last updated at 01:40 GMT, Monday, 23 November 2009

Children 'not exercising enough'

Teenagers playing football
Parents are not aware of how much exercise children do

Parents are failing to realise how physically active their children should be, a charity has warned.

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) said 72% of parents believe their children are "active enough".

But the charity found just over one in 10 children is actually doing the recommended 60 minutes a day.

The BHF released the findings in its Couch Kids report, which highlights that around one-third of young Scots are overweight or obese.

It claims there have been "no major changes" in activity levels in the past five years.

Andy Carver, care adviser with the charity, said: "Mums and dads need to take off the blinkers about how active kids need to be in order to keep their hearts healthy.

"Kids need to get moving more, yet we've been standing still for years.

"Parents have such an important role in helping and encouraging their kids to be more active by building exercise into their everyday lives, whether that's taking part in team sports, playing outside with their friends or walking to school."

The charity wants better provision of youth clubs, open spaces and cycle paths.

And it called on the Scottish government to work with councils to ensure it meets its target that children receive two hours of physical education a week.

The report found that the Active Schools programme in Scotland has helped to encourage healthy lifestyles at school and into adulthood.

But it added: "While there has been good progress on integrating physical education into the school day and local sports strategies, provision is not universal or necessarily prioritised."



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