IT’S quite shocking that almost a third of children don’t go outdoors or take exercise in their spare time.

Official analysis by the Office for National Statistics suggests that around two million children often stay indoors during the day and do nothing active.

The latest figures show that children aged between eight and 15 spend little more than an hour each day outside or taking exercise. They average just 68 minutes on activities ranging from playing sport to walking the dog. But only 68.8 per cent of them actually do any exercise at all.

It’s ironic that being overweight used to indicate wealth and a rich diet and that today it can indicate poverty and a poor diet. Whatever the reason, obesity in children has never been higher and it’s a ticking time-bomb.

We need to get them more active and outside and it’s up to parents to do it.