Press Release: The Daily Mile welcomes new research into initiative’s success


  • Research led by the Universities of Stirling, Edinburgh and Highlands & Islands provides a blueprint for schools to achieve success with THE DAILY MILE (the popular children’s initiative that now takes place 6,300 schools 1.3 million children taking part).
  • Findings confirm that the popular health initiative’s core principles of simplicity, flexibility and adaptability, are key to success and help make The Daily Mile a ‘sticky initiative’.
  • The Daily Mile founder, Elaine Wyllie said: “I am thrilled that The Daily Mile has once again proven to be a successful initiative backed by research. The new research from Stirling University confirms that the core principles of The Daily Mile offer schools and educational establishments a way of implementing The Daily Mile with flexible delivery and adaptability.”

Just months after the Universities of Stirling, Edinburgh and Highlands & Islands proved The Daily Mile improves fitness and body composition in children, new research by the same team has found the key to the health initiative’s success lies in its core principles and ease of implementation.

 The initiative, which started life in 2012, was the idea of Elaine Wyllie when she was head teacher 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 scheme has already received formal backing from the Scottish and Welsh governments, it has been praised by Theresa May in Parliament and in July was included in the Government’s Childhood Obesity Strategy paper.  The health initiative has experienced its highest period of growth ever in recent weeks, backed by a joint campaign with ITV and INEOS, over 5,900 schools with over 1.3 million children in 51 countries have signed up.

Commenting on today’s news, Founder of The Daily Mile, Elaine Wyllie, said:

“I am delighted that the research undertaken by the University of Stirling has confirmed that The Daily Mile works best when it is put in place according to our core principles.  Their research has shown that implementation should be kept simple, following the advice for schools that has been set out by The Daily Mile Foundation.  I’d like to thank the University of Stirling for carrying out this work and highlighting that the adoption of our straightforward approach ensures that children can enjoy all the benefits of The Daily Mile.” 

The findings of both research studies from Stirling University are featured in a new ‘How to / Why to’ guide to be published by the University and distributed to schools. (Available on the Research page of The Daily Mile UK’s website)

Many teachers in schools across the UK have reported success with The Daily Mile in terms of fitness, reduced obesity and attainment in class. Today’s report provides clear evidence that the initiative can be successfully implemented in schools.  The two significant studies from the Universities back up results from a three-month pilot inspired by The Daily Mile, where children at a school in east London ran for 15 minutes three times a week and teachers found improvements to fitness, self-esteem and wellbeing. Their SAT results were also significantly higher than expected.  In 2017, 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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