Nursery children need an hour of daily physical exercise for their future good health, says a new study.John Reilly and colleagues at Glasgow University studied 545 children at 36 nurseries in Glasgow.
The researchers monitored the children who had the recommended adult level of exercise - 30 minutes, three times a week, reported the online edition of BBC News.
But this activity was not enough to affect the children's body mass index (BMI), the researchers found.
Although the increased level of exercise did appear to help the children improve their movement skills, it had very little effect on BMI.
The researchers said children of that age needed an hour of daily exercise.It was "crucial" to encourage good exercise habits in young children, even if the benefits were not immediately obvious, said Mike Knapton of the British Heart Foundation.
He said: "Children get less active as they get older so it's vital that youngsters get regular physical activity to lay the foundations for good health as they grow up.
"We recommend that parents encourage their toddlers and young children to eat a healthy diet and have lots of active play time - at least an hour a day for kids over five - as a vital investment for long-term heart health."