The Daily Mile proven to work

Thursday May 10th 2018

The Daily Mile

Research by the Universities of Stirling and Edinburgh has found that policymakers should consider introducing The Daily Mile to improve the health and fitness of schoolchildren around the world.

The popular fitness campaign which invites schools to sign up to a 15-minute classroom break to take part in physical activity is used in many schools in Midlothian.

The study of The Daily Mile has confirmed that it boosts activity levels in class and improves fitness and body composition with increased time spent active per day, decreased time spent sedentary per day and increased running performance.

The initiative, which started life in 2012, was the idea of Elaine Wyllie when she was headteacher of St Ninian’s Primary School in Stirling. Concerned about the lack of physical fitness displayed by the children, Elaine founded the campaign with the simple aim of getting her pupils moving every day to improve their overall fitness and wellbeing.

The new research provides proof that The Daily Mile does help fight against the growing global childhood problems of low physical activity, declining fitness levels and high levels of obesity.

The scheme has already received formal backing from the Scottish and Welsh governments and 2018 already has 3200 schools involved. But the campaign has experienced its highest period of growth ever in recent weeks backed by a joint campaign with ITV and INEOS, over 400 schools with over 135,000 children have signed up since April 7th.

This huge growth started with the launch of a TV commercial featuring Elaine introducing the campaign to millions where she encouraged schools across the UK to sign up.

In a matter of weeks the campaign message has spread across the UK helping the total number of schools signed up to rise to 1,292 in England, 778 in Scotland, 217 in Wales and 85 in Northern Ireland.

Commenting the founder of The Daily Mile, Elaine Wyllie, said:

“I am delighted that new research confirms that The Daily Mile improves the physical fitness, health and wellbeing of young people.

“This new report offers scientific support to our core belief in the benefits of just 15 minutes’ daily activity. It has strengthened the message at the heart of the whole campaign that making The Daily Mile part of school life can transform the lives of young people everywhere.

“The campaign has been going from strength to strength in 2018 and we’ve already had a phenomenal response to our TV ad campaign, with hundreds of schools joining the movement in the last month alone. We now have concrete evidence of the health benefits of The Daily Mile and another yet stronger platform on which to grow the campaign.”

Many teachers in schools across the UK cite anecdotal evidence for the success of the Daily Mile, but until now there has been little hard science. Today’s report provides clear data and backs up results from a three-month pilot inspired by the Daily Mile, where 76 children at Coppermill school in east London ran for 15 minutes three times a week where teachers found improvements to fitness, self-esteem, and wellbeing and satisfaction. Their SATs results were also significantly higher than expected.

Last year a BBC-sponsored Terrific Scientific survey of the effect of exercise on 12,000 children’s concentration across the UK. The children that ran a Daily Mile saw improved cognition and wellbeing, compared to other groups in the survey.

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