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It is becoming increasingly clear just how inactive children are nowadays. This paper confirms in Irish children what previous studies have indicated in Ireland, elsewhere in Europe, in North America and, to a lesser extent in South-East Asia, and the antipodes. It shows the impact television and computer games are having everywhere, and, by differentiating periods of low levels of activity interspersed with spans of more vigorous activity, it draws special attention to the care we need to have in describing children's activity. Social factors are important in determining disease, so it should come as no surprise to find it influencing childhood behaviour too. The authors have performed a service in opening this aspect, but they have found it difficult to obtain quite what may be required if policy is to be developed to rectify it. Do not seek here the solutions to this problem affecting so many parts of the world, but do ensure that the opinion leaders know that, so far, no nation seems immune from this creeping physical inactivity.
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