A TEAM of British scientists are calling on governments worldwide to introduce a 15-minute ‘Daily Mile’ in schools to improve children’s health and fitness.
The Daily Mile involves kids taking a 15-minute break from class to do basic physical activity. It was started in 2012 by Elaine Wyllie, who was then headteacher of a primary school in Stirling, Scotland.
Her aim was to improve the fitness of her pupils by giving them a short break each day to run, jog or walk around the school grounds. This activity is done in addition to the school’s regular PE and sports classes. Around half of Scottish primary schools now have the initiative in place.
Researchers at the University of Stirling and University of Edinburgh have carried out the first study into the effectiveness of the Daily Mile.
The report looked at 391 children across two schools, one of which didn’t have the Daily Mile, and another which did. The results confirmed it improves fitness, reduces body fat and increases activity levels in children.
Colin Moran, one of the lead researchers, says the study shows it’s time politicians consider making this a compulsory activity in schools. He said: “It suggests that the Daily Mile is a worthwhile intervention to introduce in schools and that it should be considered for inclusion in government policy, both at home and abroad.”