Scottish seven-year-olds are more active and less likely to be considered obese than other children in the UK of the same age.
Researchers at London University’s Institute of Education tracked the development of 15,000 youngsters born in the UK between 2000 and 2002 found that Scottish children were the most likely to take part in physical activities.
More than half of Scottish children walk to school every day compared with only one in four Northern Irish children of the same age and nearly half of the Scottish children surveyed were involved in after-school or weekend activities at least twice a week.
Only 27% took part in sport less than once a week or never, however the figure was lower than in the other countries of the UK.
Just 5% of Scottish seven-year-olds and 6% of English youngsters were said to be obese, compared with 7.5% of Welsh children and 8% of Northern Irish children.
Experts said the results did not necessarily mean that children in Northern Ireland and Wales were heavier simply because they were less active than Scots.