Parents can mistakenly believe that their children get enough exercise at school and that they do not need additional physical activity, said Irish rugby star Louise Galvin.
She said that restrictions on playgrounds, as well as limited or no sessions, could leave many children at risk of not meeting the recommended 60 minute exercise per day.
"It's often a school in a school that is the first to go if a concert or exam is held," said Galvin, former footballer Kerry and an Irish basketball international.
Ms. Galvin, a qualified physiotherapist and now a Master of Medicine and Sports at the University of Ulster, says parents can think about the basic ways that their children are actively working at home.
"It could include a dance in front of a television or a game of hiding and pursuit.
"Instead of going to the cinema, she could make a trip and go to jail in something like trampolining if it's raining."
Ms. Galvin is Ambassador of the Irish Physiotherapist Association, which held an annual conference during the weekend.
She said that children learn much more from sports, especially when it comes to mistakes and disappointments.
"They find it OK to fail."
Sport also gives more balance in the lives of young students and has enormous concentration for studying, she added.
"Girls in sports have better self-image and more confidence," she added.