Interview with Dr Gemma Ryde

Source: Nursery World

Date: 29-October-2018

Dr Ryde led a study exploring how The Daily Mile, an initiative that encourages nurseries and primary schools to take children outside to run 15 minutes every day, has been successfully implemented.


Our study found that having simple core intervention components (walk, jog, run), flexible delivery that supports teacher autonomy and being adaptable to suit the specific primary school context appear to be key aspects of The Daily Mile that are related to its implementation success. Other factors relating to how The Daily Mile was developed, trialled and rolled out might also have contributed towards its successful implementation.

The findings are based upon interviews with staff from four primary schools in Scotland who had a significant role in implementing the initiative. We asked them about how The Daily Mile was delivered at their school and what barriers and benefits they had encountered.


This research aimed to provide information on what to consider for others who are wanting to start The Daily Mile in order to increase the likelihood of it being a success in other schools. Hopefully this will encourage others to take part in The Daily Mile as they can see what some schools have already tried. To support this, we have developed the ‘how to, why to’ guide, which provides more practical advice on what schools have considered when implementing The Daily Mile, including setting up and managing the route, which we hope will be useful to them.

Also contributing to the research were Dr Colin Moran, Dr Naomi Brooks and Ross Chesham from the University of Stirling, Dr Josie Booth from the University of Edinburgh’s Moray House School of Education, and Dr Trish Gorely from the University of the Highlands and Islands.

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

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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.



Media contacts

Chris Hall (Media Zoo)(+44)7739571634 /

Press Release: Greater Manchester gets moving as 100,000 children run The Daily Mile

Greater Manchester gets moving as 100,000 children run The Daily Mile 

  • Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, will join the founder of The Daily Mile, Elaine Wyllie, on 17th October at Stanley Grove Primary School in Longsight to celebrate the city-region’s commitment to transforming the health and wellbeing of its 2.8 million population by becoming the world’s first ever Daily Mile city-region and its aim to get 75% of schools signed-up to The Daily Mile by 2021
  • A day of activity across Greater Manchester, which will see 400 primary schools and about 100,000 children take part in The Daily Mile and will launch the expansion of the popular fitness initiative into nurseries and workplaces.
  • Over the day, Elaine Wyllie will travel across the city-region to join a nursery, primary, secondary schools and a workplace all participating in The Daily Mile, confirming that the initiative is fully inclusive and works for everyone – regardless of age, ability or disability.

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, will join the founder of The Daily Mile, Elaine Wyllie, as they call on 100,000 kids of Greater Manchester to get moving, marking the city-region’s profound commitment to becoming the world’s first Daily Mile city-region.

They will launch an entire day of activity across Greater Manchester which will see 400 primary schools participate in the popular, life-changing fitness initiative and encourage its 2.8 million population to sign-up to The Daily Mile, aiming to make everyone fit for life. The day’s activity will encourage Greater Manchester to get moving and to make physical activity a simple part of everyday life.

More than 350 schools across Greater Manchester have now signed up to The Daily Mile. To build on this success, The Daily Mile is now being extended to nurseries and workplaces across all ten off its local areas. The Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership has announced £2 million of funding to support the area’s Daily Mile ambitions.

Currently, 25% of Greater Manchester adults, 35% of older children and 83% of under 5s are inactive. Over 1 in 3 adults (38%) are not active enough to benefit their health, whilst more than a quarter (28%) of children in Greater Manchester are classified as overweight or obese. With inactivity costing the NHS in Greater Manchester an estimated £26.7million per year, partners across the city-region are working together to get Greater Manchester Moving and support 75% of people to do at least 30 minutes of exercise a week.

The Daily Mile is a fun, free and simple initiative where children run or jog for fifteen minutes every day. The Daily Mile Fit For Life™ was inspired by the success of the children’s initiative and is for anyone aged 11+ encouraging them to walk, jog, or run for fifteen minutes every day.

The campaign has had a phenomenal year of growth in 2018, achieving its highest ever public profile and playing a significant part in the national conversation on public health, wellbeing and the fight against obesity. It has been endorsed by significant media outlets and public figures including the Prime Minister, Theresa May and ambassador for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, Andy Murray. Thousands of schools have signed up while research findings from the Universities of Stirling and Edinburgh confirmed the initiative boosts activity levels in class and improves fitness and body composition. In June, the UK Government announced that The Daily Mile would be a key measure in its strategy to halve childhood obesity by 2030.

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said:

 “It’s been just over six months since we first committed to being the first city-region dedicated to The Daily Mile, and it’s fantastic to mark this milestone by being part of the celebrations today, here in Greater Manchester.

 “Since we first committed to the initiative in March, 222 schools across the city-region have signed up. Today alone we have over 400 schools taking part in the celebration. But it’s not just about schools – we want to encourage everyone to take part, including nurseries and the workplace.

 “If we put our minds to it, we can easily embed 15 minutes of exercise into our daily routine. Go for a walk on your lunch break, or take the stairs instead of the lift. The physical and mental health benefits exercise can have is invaluable and I would encourage everyone in Greater Manchester to adopt The Daily Mile into their day-to-day routine.”

 Elaine Wyllie, founder of The Daily Mile, said:

“I started The Daily Mile 6 years ago whilst the headteacher of a small Primary School in Stirling. It is incredible to think that since then it has been endorsed by the Prime Minister, included as a key measure in the Government’s childhood obesity strategy and that over 1 million children across 44 countries are now signed up. Thousands of young lives have already been transformed by this simple, free and effective activity. I am delighted by Greater Manchester’s commitment and look forward to seeing more workplaces and adults everywhere follow in the children’s footsteps and hope to see everyone in the City-region taking part in The Daily Mile.” 

Sara Tomkins, CEO for GreaterSport, the charitable organisation co-ordinating the Daily Mile throughout Greater Manchester, said

“Schools in Greater Manchester are embracing The Daily Mile as it is so simple to get going, doesn’t cost anything and everyone can take part. That’s why we wanted to see if we could be the first region to embrace The Daily Mile outside of schools as well and encourage toddlers in nurseries, Mums, Dads, office workers and everyone from nurses to neuroscientist, bus drivers to bankers to join in!  If you haven’t already, please sign up your school, nursery, team and workplace and join the Greater Manchester Daily Mile movement.”

Sarah Price, Executive Lead for Population Health and Commissioning at Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, said

“It’s fantastic that more than 400 schools have already got behind our ambition to become the world’s first Daily mile city-region. But walking, jogging, or running a mile each day is an easy way for anyone to fit physical exercise into their daily lives – not just children. We’re calling on nurseries, workplaces and even more schools to get involved, and help transform Greater Manchester’s health, wealth and wellbeing”

Chris Boardman, Greater Manchester Cycling and Walking Commissioner, said

“Many people don’t have the opportunity to move as much as they should whilst at work. It’s also hard to find time—and let’s face it, motivation—to do something before or after work too, so I’d encourage everyone to consider altering their daily routine and how they might fit in a bit of light exercise as part of it, rather than try to bolt it on. 

“The Daily Mile is a wonderfully simple concept and could be achieved by walking the kids to school or getting off the bus a couple of stops earlier to walk part of the way instead. Apart from making you healthier, it’ll help cut pollution and congestion across the region too, making the place we live nicer for everyone. One mile at a time!”


Holyrood Nursery


Heaton SEN school

Trafford Council L-R Dr Yvonne Burke, Elaine Wyllie, Eleanor Roaf, Judith Lloyd

Media contacts

Chris Hall (Media Zoo)(+44)7739571634 /



Press Release: The Mayor of London and Sir Mo Farah back The Daily Mile



  • Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, Sir Mo Farah and London Marathon Events today launch a campaign to back The Daily Mile, and encourage primary schools across all 32 London boroughs to take up the health and fitness initiative.
  • Mayor of London is putting children’s health firmly on the city’s agenda to become a leader in addressing the huge issue of childhood obesity and inactivity. He is encouraging all schools in London to introduce The Daily Mile.

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, will join the founder of The Daily Mile, Elaine Wyllie along with Sir Mo Farah and London Marathon Events as together they encourage all London schools to sign up to The Daily Mile.

London boroughs worryingly make up seven of the ten worst-ranked authorities in England for obesity rates and The Mayor of London and Sir Mo are supporting The Daily Mile, a simple initiative that is able to make a difference.

Support for The Daily Mile health and wellbeing initiative has grown significantly since research findings have shown that children participating in The Daily Mile were significantly healthier than those who did not. The simple health initiative is effective in boosting activity levels and improves overall fitness and body composition.

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.

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, said: Regular exercise is such an important part of a healthy lifestyle and should be part of every child’s life. The Daily Mile is a fantastic initiative which will help children across the capital become more active. I’m proud to support it as part of my Sport Unites programme and I am encouraging every school in London to sign up.”

Elaine Wyllie, founder of The Daily Mile, said: It is wonderful that London wants to become the first Capital City to back the Daily Mile across all its schools. Already thousands of children across the capital and the UK are establishing healthy fitness habits taking part in The Daily Mile. The support of the Mayor and Sir Mo Farah gives the campaign new urgency and reach to tackle childhood obesity in the capital and I am thrilled that The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and the wonderful Sir Mo Farah are backing the campaign to get kids fit for life across London.

Sir Mo Farah said: The Daily Mile is a brilliant and easy way to get kids moving and keeping healthy. I’m a dad of four and I encourage my kids to be active every day. It would be fantastic to see every primary school in London signing up to do The Daily Mile.”

London Marathon Events Ltd is working in partnership with The Daily Mile Foundation to encourage all primary schools in London to take up The Daily Mile.



L-R: Elaine Wyllie, Hugh Brasher, Sir Mo Farah, Sadiq Khan
Sadiq Khan and Sir Mo Farah running The Daily Mile
L-R: Sadiq Khan, Sir Mo Farah, Elaine Wyllie


Media contacts 

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

London Marathon Events Ltd: Penny Dain (+44) 07799 170433

The Daily Mile x London Marathon with Sir Mo Farah and Sadiq Khan

Video courtesy of ITV

Teach children obesity not inevitable – medics

Source: ITV News

Date: 11-October-2018

Children should be taught that obesity is not inevitable, medics have said as they called for better food education for youngsters. The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh said that change is needed to tackle the damaging effects of poor diet and obesity. The College said that obesity “is not inevitable” in a statement as it called for better education to tackle the issue early on.

Professor Derek Bell, president of the college, said: “Many of the health problems associated with obesity can be avoided altogether. Government must work closely with schools, food agencies and supermarkets to ensure that healthy choices are available from early age to adulthood.”

One initiative that could help tackle the growing obesity crisis is more investment in food education, the college said. It said that such education could focus on healthy food choices and exercise and potentially avoid the complications associated with excess weight later in life.

College fellow Dr Mark Kroese added: “By intervening earlier, we can reduce occurrences of medical problems and give children in particular a better chance of maintaining a healthy weight, as they progress to adulthood. The College wants more government investment in schools to help children learn about healthy eating and lifestyle habits, and to enable them access to their five-a-day of fruit and vegetables. Initiatives such as The Daily Mile and school running and exercise clubs should also be encouraged, promoted and supported.”

Credit: PA Graphics

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

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Andy Murray’s message for Teachers

Our awesome ambassador, Andy Murray, highlights the importance of helping children get #FitForLife in the battle against childhood obesity.

The Murray Roar

We all know sportstars have their own way showing their emotions – Mo has his Mobot, Usain has his Lightning Bolt…and we want to introduce the Murray Roar! Thanks to Andy Murray for helping inspire our kids to get #FitForLife!