In the UK, both adults and children are not devoting enough time to physical activity which is a prime cause of one out of five premature deaths, says a UK parliamentary report.
The report said that exercise should become a habit in childhood itself, but it has been found that 50 per cent of seven-year-olds do not do any exercise regularly.
The report also said that in the past 50 years, the amount of physical activity taken up by Britons has come down by 20 per cent.
The All-Party Parliamentary Commission on Physical Activity, led by cross-bench peer and Paralympic gold medallist Tanni Grey-Thompson, said that lack of physical activity causes around 37,000 premature deaths annually in England.
The panel said that lack of exercise also led to increase in other diseases such as diabetes and heart disease and this was exerting pressure on UK's health services.
Statistics suggest that over a third of adults in England fail to make any effort in meeting the daily prescribed amount of physical activity.
Sports brand Nike sponsored the research which revealed that lack of physical activity costs the UK £20 billion annually.
The authors of the report also urged the government to initiate programmes to encourage children into sport, outdoor play and walking or cycling so that they get into the habit of regular exercise and physical activity which can continue throughout their lives.
The report suggests that an independent body be set up which can motivate people to walk to work. It also said more funds should be allocated for footpaths and cycle-friendly roads.