Most children at child care centers, preschools and nursery schools are only spending about three percent of their time on vigorous activities. That's according to a new study, published in Pediatrics, which finds that up to 83 percent of their time is spent on a sedentary activity.

"We are not meant to sit for hours on end and young children are not meant to do that either. They need to be up and moving," said Dr. Felicia Stoler, Nutrition and Exercise Physiologist. "It helps stimulate their brain so they can learn. There is research that shows that kids who are physically active do better in school."

The top reasons for the lack of activity included safety and injury concerns, budget constraints and a focus on academics. "Exercise is just as important as academics especially for growing children," said Stoler. "It helps with their fine motor skills, balance and muscle development."

"We're overweight, we're obese and we're not as bright as people are in other places in the world. Maybe the method to that madness is not working and it's time to identify what the problems are," said Stoler. "When we were kids, we played on playgrounds, we ran around outside and somehow, we made it to adulthood. Kids need to run, they need to play and they need to get their energy out."

"The habits children form early on carry into their teen years and then into adulthood," said Stoler. "If they start off living a lifestyle where they are not physically active, they won't become adults who exercise. That can lead to obesity and other health issues down the road including diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol."