A 15-minute program to improve school children's health

written by Meena Azzollini

433462school children walking with teachers99 Stiny

Credit:123RF

The Daily Mile is a physical activity program founded by the head teacher of St Ninians Primary School in Stirling, Scotland in 2012.

The aim of the program is to encourage children each day, during class time to take a walk outside (at a self-selected pace) for 15 minutes which equals to a mile.

This program has been implemented by around half the schools in Scotland and is gaining popularity in countries around the world.

The students also covered on average 39.1 metres more during the shuttle run, while showing an improvement in body composition.

The program is known to improve and increase physical fitness of the children, including reducing sedentary behaviours and improving body composition.

Researchers wanted to investigate these reports and conducted their research on two primary schools within the Stirling council area.

It included 391 students, aged between four and 12 years.

Each child underwent an assessment before the study and then at a follow-up later in the academic year.

Students from one school participated in the Daily Mile while students from the other control school went about their usual curriculum.

The students wore accelerometers to record their average daily minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity (MVPA) and average daily sedentary behaviour.

They also had a skin fold test to measure body fat and were assessed on their performance at a multi-stage fitness test – known as a bleep test or shuttle run – in which they ran between cones 20 metres apart between bleeps.

The results of the study revealed that there was a relative increase of 9.1 minutes per day in terms on MPVA and a relative decrease of 18.2 minutes per day of sedentary time in students from the intervention school.

They also covered on average 39.1 metres more during the shuttle run, while showing an improvement in body composition.

This shows that schools can help support students be more active by taking part in the Daily Mile and it should become part of every school’s curriculum.

The benefits of it are tremendous – improving the health and wellbeing of school children in just 15 minutes every day.

Source: BMC Medicine


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Meena Azzollini

Meena is passionate about holistic wellbeing, alternative healing, health and personal power and uses words to craft engaging feature articles to convey her knowledge and passion. She is a freelance writer and content creator from Adelaide, Australia, who draws inspiration from family, travel and her love for books and reading.

A yoga practitioner and a strong believer in positive thinking, Meena is also a mum to a very active young boy. In her spare time, she loves to read and whip up delicious meals. She also loves the smell of freshly made coffee and can’t ever resist a cheesecake. And she gets tickled pink by anything funny!