Research shows that Norwegians are increasingly driving to places, even if these are less than three kilometres from their homes.
"Parents have great freedom of action in inspiring physical fitness, including such measures as cycling around the neighbourhood rather than driving," says Prof Dyrstad.
"People must discover the pleasure of physical activity, that it's fun to get into shape. We must all think creatively and innovatively."
Prof Tjelta adds that obesity problems are growing in Norway as the body weight of youngsters rises. "But it wouldn't take much to change that.
"We also know that children who're very physically active in their early lives continue to be so when they reach adulthood.
"Unfortunately, today's social structure encourages parents to drive their children to sporting and leisure activities. It's particularly important to motivate those who don't do sport outside school."
Call for campaigns
Prof Dyrstad believes that lessons could be learnt from earlier Norwegian campaigns to persuade people to stop smoking, which have proved fairly effective.
"We now need to become aware of the passivation of society. Being in good physical shape is actually the most important factor in reducing the risk of illness and early death."
|Contact: Leif Inge Tjelta|
University of Stavanger