Austrian youngsters are only getting about 50% of the daily exercise that they need according to experts.
And the lack of physical effort is leading to overweight and other problems including diabetes.
That was the result of the study which was presented this week in Salzburg which also urged more sport in school to correct the problem.
Sport science expert Susanne Ring-Dimitriou said that children need at least an hour a day of good physical exercise which encouraged proper skeletal development and muscle building as well as improving heart and circulation.
She said the fact that many spend their time sitting in lessons or dealing with homework and then in free time playing on the computer was creating problems for many.
The study said that Austrian school kids aged between 11 and 15 don’t even manage 30 minutes quoting statistics from the world health organisation. And the older the child – the less they tend to move.
There is currently a campaign in Austria demanding that schools offer one hour a day of physical education but Susanne Ring-Dimitriou, who is the president of the Austrian sports science association, said she did not believe the suggestion was the answer to the problem.
She said that looking for an answer in schools for what was effectively a society problem was the wrong way to go.
She said: “There need to be many sectors involved and not just the schools.”
She said one of the positive ways forward could be to get kids encouraged to take part in the current trend sport.
In Austria many parents were left shocked by the kidnapping of schoolgirl Natascha Kampusch as she walked to class and she was left locked up in the cellar for eight years before she was freed.
The result was that many parents drive their children to school rather than encouraging them to walk but the sports expert suggested that children should be made to walk to school – but that worried parents should walk with them, at least for part of the way.