JOGRAPHY LESSONS: How The Daily Mile scheme at our schools could help to tackle obesity and get kids running

Source: The Sun

Date: 28-May-2018

British kids are fatter than their American counterparts for the first time and setting aside time during the school day for exercise could help our school children slim down.

According to experts, 20 per cent of pupils leaving primary school in the UK are classes as obese. In the US – officially the world’s fattest nation – that figure is 18.5 per cent.

Obesity is predicted to double in the next 25 years — while tens of millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money has already been thrown at the problem.

But a simple — and cheap — solution can already be found on the playgrounds and fields of around 6,000 primary schools where more than a million children take part in The Daily Mile.

The exercise regime means that at some point in every school day, pupils leave their classroom, still in their uniform, to run or jog for up to 15 minutes.

  • 20% of pupils leaving primary school in the UK classified as obese
  • 4% of body fat lost for kids who ran The Daily Mile for 7 months
  • 1.2 million primary school children in the UK now doing The Daily Mile
  • 15 minutes is the time it takes to jog or run The Daily Mile

Youngsters can set their own pace and talk to their friends while they go round.

Teachers all over the country have reported how pupils return to the classroom invigorated and eager to learn after doing what is being called “jography”.

Last week, Prime Minister Theresa May praised The Daily Mile and called on schools to take it up — but stopped short of saying it should be compulsory.

Now, for all our kids’ sakes, The Sun is calling on Education Secretary Damian Hinds to make The Daily Mile mandatory in all primary schools.

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70 ideas to save the NHS: Part one

Source: The Telegraph

Date: 28-May-2018

The Daily Mile Foundation is beyond proud that The Daily Mile programme has been recognised as one of many initiatives that could reduce (or ultimately, remove) the strain from the NHS. The Daily Mile was listed as first and foremost, on a very comprehensive list of ideas. We thank The Telegraph for their on-going support of our work.

The NHS is facing more challenges than ever before as a growing, ageing population increases demand and puts budgets under strain.

Last week, the Institute for Fiscal Studies and Health Foundation predicted it would need an extra £2,000 per UK household over the next 15 years just to maintain provision at current levels.

But as it enters its 70th year, a series of changes are being brought in – from advanced robotic tools to simple, common-sense measures – that could all add up to relieve financial pressures and improve conditions for 21st-century patients.

Here, in the first of our three-part series highlighting 70 NHS innovations, we celebrate 25 ideas which could help preserve our health…

1. A Daily Mile to get children moving

British children are among the least active in the world, with one in five obese when they start primary school. But one Scottish headteacher has begun a revolution which is spreading across British schools: The Daily Mile. The move encourages primary pupils to run or jog for 15 minutes every day.

No kit or equipment is required and children can run in the playground if there is no playing field available. The scheme, launched in 2012, has been linked to improvements in fitness, self-esteem and wellbeing. One study of a similar programme in an east London primary school also found grades unexpectedly improved.

This article has been reproduced with the kind permission of the content creator, The Telegraph. To read the article in full, please click the link below. [Subscription required]

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Press Release: The Prime Minister Calls on Schools to Join The Daily Mile

The Prime Minister Theresa May today praised The Daily Mile – the popular fitness initiative that aims to get children fit for life – and called on schools to sign-up.

Prime Minister Theresa May praised The Daily Mile during Prime Minister’s Questions in response to a question from Conservative MP Tom Pursglove. Mr Pursglove commended The Daily Mile for helping ‘to make sure that children in schools are physically active, have better mental health and are best placed to learn and achieve’ and asked the Prime Minister if she would join him in “calling for schools across the country to roll out The Daily Mile?”

The Prime Minister said: “The Daily Mile is an excellent programme. It is simple and inclusive, and it can successfully engage children in physical activity, who would otherwise not undertake that physical activity.” She continued, “I certainly agree that we want more schools to adopt the active approach and adopt The Daily Mile.”

 The Daily Mile Founder Elaine Wyllie says: “The response to The Daily Mile campaign in 2018 has been phenomenal and I would like to thank the Prime Minister for praising The Daily Mile during Prime Minister’s Questions and would encourage her to consider including The Daily Mile in the upcoming second childhood obesity strategy. Her support is a fantastic boost to the campaign and comes at a time of unbelievable growth for The Daily Mile, which is now growing at its fastest ever rate. In just over a month, hundreds of schools and over 200,000 children have joined The Daily Mile; we now have over 700,000 children across 36 countries taking part which means the lives of thousands of children are being transformed for the better. It is my hope that every child in every primary school in the UK will sign up to The Daily Mile!”

To find out more about The Daily Mile visit, to join The Daily Mile movement and download resources to help get started. Parents and teachers are encouraged to follow The Daily Mile on social media to keep up with all the latest news and share their Daily Mile experiences with the team. In addition, there is an information line that can be reached by calling 0330 8800 100 (Weekdays 7am-8pm and Weekends 9am- 5pm).



Media contacts

The Daily Mile: Joseph Wade (+44) 207 384 6980 – (+44) 7758 074 576

The Daily Mile: Chris Hall (+44) 207 384 6980 – (+44) 7739 571 634

INEOS: Richard Longden (+41) 21 627 7063 – (+41) 79 962 61 23

Does running a mile a day really improve children’s lives?

Source: The Guardian

Date: 21-May-2018

The Scottish school that asked primary pupils to do 15 minutes of exercise every day started a global trend – and research suggests it really is transforming lives.

It was an 80-year-old volunteer who prompted Elaine Wyllie, the then headteacher of St Ninians primary school in Stirling, to reappraise the fitness of the children in her school. “Your children are not fit,” the volunteer told her. Wyllie was stung by the comment, even though she suspected it was true. The PE teacher confirmed it. “Most children these days are exhausted by the warm-up,” she said.

Since then, this concept of sending children outside during normal lesson time to run or walk laps of the playground for 15 minutes a day has spread to more than 3,600 primary schools in 35 different countries. Yet, while there has been plenty of anecdotal evidence about its benefits, until now hard data has been lacking. Earlier this month, a study was published that looked at 391 children at two Scottish primary schools. Seven months after starting The Daily Mile, children who had been doing it could run 5% further during a timed shuttle-run test than the other children. They had increased their moderate/vigorous physical activity by nine minutes a day and had cut their total sedentary time by 18 minutes.

The children also experienced a 4% reduction in the size of their skin folds, suggesting that they were becoming leaner. This is important because 30% of children between the ages of seven and 11 in England and Scotland are overweight or obese; this is associated with a greater risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease in later life. “Children often learn about healthy eating and the benefits of physical activity at school, but the kids who are doing The Daily Mile aren’t just learning it in their minds; they are learning: ‘This is something I do every day, as part of my day, and this is how it makes me feel,’” says Naomi Brooks, a senior lecturer in sport at the University of Stirling, who led the study.

One reason exercise is considered so important for children is because it helps establish lifelong habits. “If you are generally active as a youngster, it has a moderately positive effect in terms of your intention and commitment to being active as an adult,” says Prof Craig Williams, director of the children’s health and exercise research centre at the University of Exeter. There are also other long-term consequences. Late childhood and early adolescence are critical times for laying down bone, which reaches its peak density in our 20’s, declining thereafter. The higher your bone density during youth, the lower your risk of fractures and osteoporosis in later life. “The idea is that we try to put as much bone as possible ‘in the bank’ as youngsters,” says Williams. “The mechanical stimulation of our body weight going through our bones, muscles and tendons when we jump up and down, stimulates our bone cells to grow and lay down new bone.”

Even so, some question the logic of reducing children’s lesson time by 15 minutes each day; surely they could find ways of being more active at other times? Yet, according to a consensus statement released by Williams and 23 other child-health experts in 2016: “Time taken away from lessons for physical activity is time well spent and does not come at the cost of getting good grades. Physical activity has been found to boost young people’s brain development and function, as well as their intellect.” Indeed, in a previous study, Brooks found that a single bout of exercise left children feeling more awake, increased their attention and verbal memory and improved their feelings of wellbeing.

Wyllie’s intention was simply to get the children fit, but what has pleased her most is the levelling effect it appears to have: “It seems that the less fit and more overweight the kids are at the start, the more they benefit,” she says. Given that obesity is more prevalent among lower socioeconomic classes, interventions such as The Daily Mile could help to close the gap in health inequality between rich and poor. If true, 15 minutes a day would be a small price to pay.

This article has been reproduced with the kind permission of the content creator, The Guardian. To read the article in full, please click the link below.

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Body: What a Daily Mile run can do for your children’s health

Source: The Sunday Times

Date: 20-May-2018

The work carried out by The Daily Mile Foundation can be seen against a backdrop of growing levels of obesity and sedentary behaviour among children across the UK.  By acting now and introducing regular physical activity into their lives, we can improve the health outcomes for children now and when they are adults.

“Do we have to?” “Yes.”


“Because you’ll feel better.”

“I feel fine.”

“So do I, Dad.”

“And me.”

“It’s a fun experiment. It will be fun. Also, please.”

And so begins the Rudd Family Twice Daily Run. This exercise in exercising is based on The Daily Mile, a concept sweeping Fat Britain as if our lives depend upon it. Which, of course, they do. A third of 10- to 11-year-old children in England are overweight or obese. Your Olivers and your Fearnley-Whittingstalls have made a lot of sensible noise about what (on earth) we’re feeding them, but there is less hubbub about fitness.

The statistics on childhood activity make grim reading, so I won’t give you them. Suffice to say, Britain’s iKids are among the most inactive on the planet. In 2012, Elaine Wyllie, head teacher of St Ninians Primary School in Stirling, became concerned about the lack of fitness displayed by her pupils. She launched The Daily Mile: every child in the school jogs for 15 minutes a day. Within six months, “not one of our 57 primary 1 children was deemed overweight … attention levels and behaviour in class improved, and parents said their children are fitter, more active and alert.”

Wyllie launched the concept nationally and internationally, and, as of last week, more than 2,000 schools in Britain (and more than 820 in Belgium — go Belgium!) had signed up. Our school has yet to do so, so here I am in the field behind our house, begging my three boys to start running.

We agree to start small: one lap of the field in the morning, another in the evening. Day one, the five-year-old is off like a rabbit, but the 10- and 12-year-old trudge off sullenly — they’ve been burnt by family experiments before. The “cook a meal from a different country once a week” experiment lasted three weeks. The “make a squadron of Airfix Spitfires” plan nose-dived 1.03 Spitfires in. And so, 500 yards later, they report total ambivalence.

Days two and three: the morning laps go well (the youngest goes round twice). The evening laps are a struggle (“I’ve done rugby”/“I’ve got a sore knee”). But I swear all three go to sleep quicker than usual. Due to logistical issues, we miss day four. This is clearly why it works best if the school enshrines running in its curriculum. Running to miss home time: difficult. Running to miss school time: no problem. Day five: no protests. Weekend: not a chance.

We’re halfway through week two of our one-month trial. Two laps — about 1,000 yards plus a couple of press-ups — is now the norm. It won’t last. But I’ve seen enough to know this is a good thing, particularly for boys who hate sitting still in class for long hot summer hours. They are less fidgety, they sleep better and their appetites are less snack-based, more decent scoff at mealtimes.

“Daddy, you should do it too,” said the youngest yesterday morning as I lined them up.

“One problem at a time, young man,” I replied. “Now, off you go.”


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Research findings

We’ve always known the benefits for The Daily Mile, but now we have the academic evidence to prove it! Research from the Universities of Stirling and Edinburgh has shown that The Daily Mile helps children improve their fitness and well being.

Thanks to both Universities, and all those involved in conducting the research. If you’d like to read the full report, click here.


Tackling Childhood Obesity

Source: The Scottish Government

Date: 14-May-2018

FM meets Jamie Oliver to outline ambition to halve child obesity rate.

Scotland will aim to halve childhood obesity by 2030, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced.

The Scottish Government will set the target in its Healthy Weight and Diet plan, due to be published in summer 2018. Currently, 29% of children in Scotland are at risk of being overweight, including 14% who are at risk of being obese. Nine out of ten people believe obesity is a serious problem in the country. Responses to a recent public consultation on the diet and healthy weight plan showed strong support for the government restricting marketing of unhealthy food.

The First Minister announced the commitment while meeting campaigner and chef Jamie Oliver to discuss joint action to tackle child obesity and unhealthy eating.

The First Minister said: “Obesity is a serious public health issue which cannot be ignored. Evidence shows obese children are likely to stay obese into adulthood and become more likely to suffer health problems such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases at a younger age.

…“Diet and activity go together and our Healthy Weight plan will build on programmes like Scotland’s Daily Mile that encourage children to be more active, by helping them to improve diet as well and to ensure our younger generations can live fit, healthy and active lives.”

This article has been reproduced with the kind permission of the content creator, The Conversation. To read the article in full, please click the link below.

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When kids run for 15 minutes in school every day, here’s what happens to their health

Source: The Conversation

Date: 11-May-2018

The Daily Mile Foundation welcomes research published by the Universities of Stirling and Edinburgh, which proves the health benefits associated with doing The Daily Mile and daily physical activity. The Universities of Stirling and Edinburgh worked with The Conversation to produce the below article, in order to ensure the research could be widely read and interpreted. 

The backdrop to The Daily Mile is a global childhood physical activity crisis. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that children get at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise each day – the kind that gets them out of breath. They should also do some resistance exercise each week to strengthen their muscles. Despite this, fewer than 40% of children achieve these recommended levels.

Governments have introduced various research-led interventions to combat these threats – increasing the intensity of physical education classes, for example – but with mixed success. There are basically two hurdles: any intervention needs to be something children will keep doing, and it has to improve their health.

The Daily Mile has the attraction of being both simple and designed not by researchers but by a teacher and some children. The fact that so many schools are participating suggests that children keep doing it. So how about the effect on their health?

We compared 391 children aged four to 12 years in two local schools, over the course of an academic year. One school was about to introduce The Daily Mile while the other was not.

At the start and end of the study, we measured each child in the following ways: fitness (by bleep test), physical activity levels and sedentary time (both by accelerometer belts), and body fat (by skin fold calipers). (We looked at skin folds and not weight because body mass index is not great at measuring “fatness” in this age group: the results get warped by the weight of bones developing as kids get taller.)

The children in the school that introduced the Daily Mile increased their moderate/vigorous physical activity by nine minutes per day (around 15%), and cut their sedentary time by 18 minutes per day (around 6%). They saw a 40-metre increase (circa 5%) in how far they could run, while their skin folds reduced by an average of 1.4mm or 4%.

Some query the impact of The Daily Mile on lesson time, but there’s little reason for this. We have previously shown in almost 12,000 children that a single bout of similar exercise made them more awake, increased their attention and verbal memory, and improved their feelings of well-being. We have also heard anecdotal claims about other benefits such as better sleep and diet.

In short, our results suggest The Daily Mile is definitely worthwhile. In future we need to expand our research to understand whether it can work in different educational settings, such as high schools, and whether it works equally well for pupils from different backgrounds.

For the moment, The Daily Mile can certainly be part of the solution to child health and well-being. Look out for it: it could be here to stay.

This article has been reproduced with the kind permission of the content creator, The Conversation. To read the article in full, please click the link below.

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Research from the Universities of Stirling and Edinburgh

Great news today, as the Universities of Stirling and Edinburgh have released research that proves The Daily Mile works, leading to healthier, happier children. For more information, you can read our Press Release or, to read the full paper, visit our Research page.


The Daily Mile ’significantly improves health‘

Source: BBC Scotland

Date: 10-May-2018

An initiative to get schoolchildren to walk or run a mile every day leads to significant improvements in their health, according to a study. The Daily Mile scheme was originally the brainchild of a Scottish head teacher.

University researchers have compared the health of children at a primary school which takes part in the scheme with those at a school which does not. They found it led to improved fitness and body composition. It is the first quantitative research to back up anecdotal evidence about the benefits of The Daily Mile.

The researchers said the findings suggest 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.“

This article has been reproduced with the kind permission of the content creator, BBC Scotland. To read the article in full, please click the link below.

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Press Release: The Daily Mile welcomes academic research which proves value of fitness initiative

  • Research by the Universities of Stirling and Edinburgh indicates Governments and policymakers should consider introducing The Daily Mile across all schools around the world
  • Findings confirm the popular health initiative boosts activity levels and improves fitness and body composition
  • Campaign Founder, Elaine Wyllie, said, „I am delighted that new research confirms that The Daily Mile improves the physical fitness, health and wellbeing of young people. This new report offers scientific support to our core belief in the transformational benefits of just 15 minutes‘ daily activity. It has strengthened the message at heart of the whole campaign.

The Daily Mile is delighted that research by the Universities of Stirling and Edinburgh has found that policymakers should consider introducing The Daily Mile to improve the health and fitness of schoolchildren around the world.

The study of The Daily Mile – the popular fitness campaign which invites schools to sign up to a 15-minute classroom break to take part in physical activity – has confirmed that it boosts activity levels in class and improves fitness and body composition with increased time spent active per day, decreased time spent sedentary per day and increased running performance.

The initiative, which started life in 2012, was the idea of Elaine Wyllie when she was headteacher 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.

Now, with new research provides proof that The Daily Mile actually does help fight against the growing global childhood problems of low physical activity, declining fitness levels and high levels of obesity, today’s findings draw attention to the positive impact and wider potential of the campaign.

The scheme has already received formal backing from the Scottish and Welsh governments and 2018 already has 3200 schools involved. But the campaign has experienced its highest period of growth ever in recent weeks backed by a joint campaign with ITV and INEOS, over 400 schools with over 135,000 children have signed up since April 7th.

This huge growth started with the launch of a TV commercial featuring Elaine introducing the campaign to millions where she encouraged schools across the UK to sign up.

In a matter of weeks the campaign message has spread across the UK helping the total number of schools signed up to rise to 1,292 in England, 778 in Scotland, 217 in Wales and 85 in Northern Ireland.

Commenting on today’s news, Founder of The Daily Mile, Elaine Wyllie, has said: “I am delighted that new research confirms that The Daily Mile improves the physical fitness, health and wellbeing of young people. This new report offers scientific support to our core belief in the benefits of just 15 minutes’ daily activity. It has strengthened the message at the heart of the whole campaign that making The Daily Mile part of school life can transform the lives of young people everywhere. The campaign has been going from strength to strength in 2018 and we’ve already had a phenomenal response to our TV ad campaign, with hundreds of schools joining the movement in the last month alone. We now have concrete evidence of the health benefits of The Daily Mile and another yet stronger platform on which to grow the campaign.”  

Many teachers in schools across the UK cite anecdotal evidence for the success of the Daily Mile, but until now there has been little hard science. Today’s report provides clear data and backs up results from a three-month pilot inspired by the Daily Mile, where 76 children at Coppermill school in east London ran for 15 minutes three times a week where teachers found improvements to fitness, self-esteem, and wellbeing and satisfaction. Their SATs results were also significantly higher than expected.

Last year a 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.



Media contacts

The Daily Mile: Joseph Wade (+44) 207 384 6980 – (+44) 7758 074 576

INEOS: Richard Longden (+41) 21 627 7063 – (+41) 79 962 61 23

Toff takes on The Daily Mile

Source: ITV – This Morning

Date: 08-May-2018

It’s a simple idea from a teacher in Scotland that led to a Pride of Britain Award – The Daily Mile… Children jogging a mile every day to build up their fitness.

Now ITV are joining in to help encourage every school across the UK to sign up.

Today Toff takes children from one school that has never done it to a school that already has, to find out why it’s such a good idea…

This article has been reproduced with the kind permission of the content creator, This Morning. To read the article in full, please click the link below.

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Holly’s Lodge School
St Polycarp’s School