As part of the campaign to take on childhood obesity, Safefood is urging parents to 'Bring Back Play' and encourage their children to be more active every day.
Some 80% of children in the Republic of Ireland are not active enough, the group said, and one in four primary school children are already overweight or obese.
It is recommended that kids are active for at least 60 minutes per day. This does not have to be all in one go - it can be broken down into 10-minute bursts - and can include everything from playing to walking to school.
According to Prof Niall Moyna of Dublin City University, “Any amount of activity is better than none.”
He said: "Worryingly, most children are not getting enough physical activity and three out of four adults don't get enough either. However we also know from research that children are more likely to be more active if their parents are active as well. This is one of the great life skills that parents can pass on to their children, as well as being something they can participate in themselves."
Dr Cliodhna Foley-Nolan of Safefood added that active play for children is “instinctive.”  Talking about play she said: "Whether it's playing in the garden or playground, organised sports or active games like hide and seek - they all count. Children who get their 60 minutes plus daily have healthier sleep and eating habits too. And with the clocks having just gone forward, it's also a great time of the year to start new family habits."
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