Source: National Heart Foundation of Australia
Stirling and Edinburgh Universities study “The Daily Mile makes primary school children more active, less sedentary and improves their fitness and body composition: a quasi-experimental pilot study.” as commentated by Hannah Tarrant, National Heart Foundation of Australia.
Physical inactivity is an increasing global concern. As physical activity behaviours in childhood predict engagement as an adult, it is important to consider ways of maximising physical activity participation in early years of life.
Results [of the experiment] demonstrated significant improvements in MVPA, sedentary time, fitness and body composition in the intervention group. For example, participants who completed the Daily Mile illustrated a relative increase of 9.1 minutes per day of MVPA (p = 0.027). Furthermore, sedentary time decreased by 18.2 minutes per day (p = 0.017). Regarding the shuttle run, there was a relative increase of 39.1 metres (p = 0.037), and skinfolds decreased by 1.4mm (p = 0.036). These results were present after adjusting for age, gender and socioeconomic confounders.
As physical inactivity and sedentary behaviour are growing global concerns, it is important to consider ways of supporting healthy behaviours at all stages of life. The current study quantitatively reaffirms anecdotal evidence of the effectiveness of The Daily Mile in improving the physical health of primary school aged children. It additionally supports the integration of sustainable and effective physical activity interventions (such as The Daily Mile) into policy, as a means of reducing inactivity among children. As such, the current research is of value to teachers, policy makers and public health professionals who can play a role in influencing the ways in which children engage in active living.
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