Swimming and football versus computers and video games a choice for many young as their daily exercise. Are Irish children lazier than their European peers?

According to a recent report almost half of 7 to 9 year olds do less than an hour of simple exercise a week. Girls come out worst with almost 75% failing to achieve basic levels of fitness.

Irish youngsters are less fit than their European peers.

Experts fear for the future saying that the time to form healthy lifestyles is when young. Juliette Hussey, Lecturer in Physiotherapy at Trinity College Dublin, believes that healthy lifestyles need to be initiated in the young. Not all Irish children are lazy and many take offence at the label. At a summer camp some young people give their views on the survey.

One young boy comments

That is the biggest insult. I mean I go outside nearly every day of the week and I play any sport like... hurling, soccer or basketball.

As a result of the survey parents are being urged to play their parts in re-educating children about healthy lifestyles.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 3 July 2000. The reporter is Sharon Ní Bheoláin.