The Science behind The Daily Mile
We all know ‘exercise is good for you’, and The Daily Mile is no exception. There are a wide variety of health and wellbeing benefits associated with daily physical activity. To further understand the impact of The Daily Mile on children, see below published research surrounding the initiative.Read on below
The importance of physical activity
The below resource highlights the scientifically proven benefits physical activity has on the health, wellbeing and learning of children – alongside the emerging evidence and research supporting The Daily Mile and how it can help every child, every day.
Benefits of The Daily Mile
- Improves children’s fitness (9% increase)1,2,3,4,5, leg strength (5% increase)2 and body composition (4% reduction in body fat)1,6.
- May help in addressing childhood obesity; have an impact on body mass index, especially in girls; and is a cost-effective intervention, particularly for girls6.
- Helps children achieve a third of WHO’s recommended daily physical activity target7.
- The Daily Mile contributes to improved alertness, mood and verbal memory (7% increase) in children8.
- It's easy to implement and adaptable to suit specific primary school contexts9,2,3.
- Helps children to concentrate better10,9 in class and feel happier3.
- Promotes positive peer-to-peer and teacher-child relationships10,11,3,12.
- Can contribute to other parts of the curriculum, enhancing learning outcomes10.
- Has a positive effect on the school environment2, and children were calmer after completing The Daily Mile13.
- Improves children’s attitudes towards physical activity3.
How can The Daily Mile help?VIEW MORE RESEARCH
The Effect of The Daily Mile on Primary School Children’s Aerobic Fitness After 12 Weeks: A Controlled TrialInternational Journal of Environmental and Public Health Research
The Daily Mile is able to improve cardiorespiratory fitness when practiced three times a weekInternational Journal of Environmental and Public Health Research
A citizen science study of short physical activity breaks at school: Improvements in cognition and wellbeing with self-paced activityBMC Medicine
References for benefits of The Daily Mile
1. Universities of Stirling and Edinburgh: The Daily Mile makes primary school children more active, less sedentary and improves their fitness and body composition: A quasi-experimental pilot study. Chesham, Ross A., et al, 2018, BMC Medicine, Vol. 16.
2. University of Torino: The Daily Mile: 15 minutes running improves the physical fitness of Italian primary school children. Brustio, Paolo Riccardo, et al., 2019, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Vol. 16.
3. University of Swansea: The Daily Mile: Whole-school recommendations for implementation and sustainability. A mixed-methods study. Marchant E, Todd C, Stratton G, Brophy S, 2020, PLOS ONE 15 (2).
4. University of Torino: The Daily Mile Is Able to Improve Cardiorespiratory Fitness When Practiced Three Times a Week. Brustio, P.R; Mulasso, A.; Lupo, C.; Massasso, A.; Rainoldi, A.; Boccia, G., Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 2095.
5. Mulier Instituut: The Effect of The Daily Mile on Primary School Children’s Aerobic Fitness Levels After 12 Weeks: A Controlled Trial. de Jonge, M.; Slot-Heijs, J.J.; Prins, R.G.; Singh, A.S., Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 2198.
6. University of Birmingham: Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of The Daily Mile on childhood weight outcomes and wellbeing: a cluster randomised controlled trial. Breheny, K., Passmore, S., Adab, P. et al., International Journal of Obesity 2020.
7. University of Leeds Beckett: The Daily Mile™ initiative: Exploring physical activity and the acute effects on executive function and academic performance in primary school children. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, Morris, Jade L., et al., Psychology of Sport and Exercise 2019, Vol. 45.
8. Universities of Stirling and Edinburgh: A citizen science study of short physical activity breaks at school: Improvements in cognition and wellbeing with self-paced activity. Booth, J.N., Chesham, R.A., Brooks, N.E. et al., BMC Medicine 2020, Vol 18, p. 62.
9. Universities of Stirling and Edinburgh: The Daily Mile: What factors are associated with its implementation success? Ryde, Gemma C., et al., PLOS ONE 2018, Vol. 13.
10. Kings College London: The Daily Mile as a public health intervention: a rapid ethnographic assessment of uptake and implementation in South London, UK. Hanckel, B., Ruta, D., Scott, G. et al., BMC Public Health 2019, Vol. 19, p. 1167.
11. SCPHRP University of Edinburgh: The Daily Mile: teachers’ perspectives of the barriers and facilitators to the delivery of a school-based physical activity intervention. Malden S, Doi L et al., BMJ Open 2019, Vol. 9.
12. Doncaster & Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust: How ‘The Daily MileTM’ works in practice: A process evaluation in a UK primary school. Harris J, Milnes LJ, Mountain G. J, Child Health Care 2019.
13. The Mulier Instituut: The Daily Mile. Slot-Heijs, J.J., Singh, A.S., Mulier Instituut. 2019.