Just 20 per cent of girls and 23 per cent of boys aged five to 15 are active for at least an hour daily.
It compares with 19 per cent [girls] and 28 per cent [boys] a decade ago.
Public Health England warns children’s physical activity levels are now “alarmingly low” – raising the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and several cancers.
They have teamed up with Star Wars in the battle against the bulge.
Luke Skywalker wants young Brits to take part in a Jedi training programme to help combat childhood obesity.
Actor Mark Hamill, who plays the Jedi, said: “If you want to become a Jedi like Luke Skywalker or Rey, then you need to be fit, healthy and strong.
“This summer Change4Life can help you Train Like A Jedi. May the Force be with you.”
Brit taekwondo gold medallist Jade Jones is supporting the keep fit campaign.
She stars in a video with “Jedi inspired” moves to get children excited about fitness.
New research shows four in five kids would exercise more if their favourite screen characters were also active.
Double gold medallist Jones, who is featured in the video along with Star Wars character BB-8, said: “The Jedi-inspired moves can be done anytime and anywhere – both at school and home.
“I hope that through this new programme we can inspire a new generation to move more by showing kids that physical activity can be really fun.”
MURRAY TEAMS UP WITH NHS TO PROMOTE EXERCISE BENEFITS
TENNIS ace Andy Murray wants more primary school kids to walk or run a mile daily to tackle record obesity levels.
Around 30,000 Brits die young each year as a result of being too fat.
The partnership coincides with the anniversary of the NHS turning 70.
Murray said: “I am a huge supporter of the NHS, but we all know it is under pressure.
“If we can increase levels of activity as a nation, it helps improve mood, self-esteem and energy, but it will also reduce the strain on the NHS by keeping us healthier.
“It’s especially important to instil these habits early and support and inspire young people to maintain them as they go through their teenage years.”
The campaign includes regional events and a free Star Wars themed pack with mini active challenges for the summer holidays, available through primary schools.
One in three 11-year-olds are too fat.
Official guidelines recommend youngsters do 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day.
But only 22 per cent met the target in 2015, down from 24 per cent in 2008.
Eustace de Sousa, national lead for children at PHE said: “Children’s physical activity levels are alarmingly low and are having a major impact on their physical and mental health – both now and into adulthood.
“Getting into the habit of being regularly active will have lifelong benefits.”
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