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The Daily Mile

location_on United Kingdom

Want to increase students' fitness, well-being and success without additional resources?

In The Daily Mile, children go running outside for fifteen minutes every day to experience the physical, emotional and social benefits that exercise brings.

HundrED 2018
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Overview

HundrED has selected this innovation to

HundrED 2018

2012

Established

-

Children/users

19

Countries
Updated
November 22nd, 2022
We take 15 minutes from the curriculum but we give more back in attainment, focus, happiness, health.
Elaine Wyllie, Founder

About the innovation

What is the Daily Mile?

Children are subject to increasingly sedentary lives, spending vast amounts of time sitting at home, at school and during leisure activities. Inactivity is contributing to a childhood obesity crisis and is linked to a range of mental and physical health problems in childhood and later life. It is recommended that all children do a minimum of 60 minutes moderate to vigorous intensity exercise each day.

The Daily Mile is a children’s health and wellbeing initiative that gets students outside to walk, jog or run for fifteen minutes each day. The simple yet effective model means that any school can incorporate it into their day. It is free and requires no additional resources, meaning that any school with access to outdoor space can participate.

It’s quick and simple; children run around the playground in their school uniforms, requiring no extra time to change kit or set up equipment. Teachers have the freedom to decide a time that suits the class, making it easy to fit into the school day as an early morning refresher or a brain break during the day.

The idea is for children to reap the physical, emotional and social wellbeing benefits of exercising outdoors in a non-competitive, inclusive atmosphere. The Daily Mile is a guide, not a strict mile (1.6km) and children are encouraged to set their own pace. The organisation has found that on average 50% of children aged 8-11 run a full mile, with 40% running further. Children’s fitness levels increase significantly and they learn to enjoy exercise and be more aware of healthy lifestyle choices.

When the Daily Mile becomes part of the culture of the school, it can inspire lessons on nutrition and other health issues. Daily exercise helps children to focus during learning, while running outdoors during all weathers can help children to enjoy the stimulation of the sights and sounds of the natural world. In addition, the inclusive nature of the activity gives an opportunity for children to  boost their confidence in their abilities and to practice social and leadership skills by encouraging their friends.

Impact & scalability

Impact & Scalability

Innovativeness

The emphasis is on moving in a way that feels good and is freeing to the child. It is an inclusive framework that allows children with special needs or disabilities to join in without pressure to win or to achieve a certain level.

Simplicity is key to what makes this innovative, as schools can easily and instantly adopt this and make it part of their own school culture.

Impact

In a pilot scheme conducted at Coppermill School, London, children’s average fitness percentile result increased from 37% to 64% over a 12 week period. The school also measured an increase in self esteem and wellbeing, as well as better than expected academic attainment in standardised end of primary school tests.

So far more than 3,000 schools are taking part in the UK, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Scalability

The Daily Mile is based in the UK and is now being used in 32 countries.

Steps

Keep it Fun and Simple

Once children see exercise as fun you've broken through the first barrier.

The Daily Mile gives children the opportunity to run in the fresh air with friends. Children should be made aware that this is not a competition - and at the start it is ok to mix running and walking whilst they build up their fitness level. Resist the temptation to make this 15 minute activity too complicated. Its simplicity makes it both successful and sustainable. 

Give 100%

This innovation is all about making sure that all children are included.

The Daily Mile is fully inclusive! All children go out together and children with SEN or ASN benefit greatly. Make sure that you do a risk assessment for the area in which you will be exercising. Sample risk assessments can be found on the Daily Mile website. 

Weather and Clothing

The weather can be a benefit not a barrier.

Children respond to the seasons; make sure that children are dressed accordingly - Jackets on in the cold and damp; ditching the sweatshirt if it's warm outside. The Daily Mile is easy as no kit is required. The children go out in their school clothes, which means no time is wasted changing!

Own it

Allow the children to own their Daily Mile.

Children can choose whether they want to run, walk or jog - or mix all three. Children should however be encouraged to run, especially after the first couple of weeks once they are used to the routine. Most schools use their playground, with a track set out that will encourage the children to run a minimum of 5-10 laps. This will vary depending on the setting.

Just Go

No need to warm up - straight outside and off they go.

Children can get started straight away and after 15 minutes will return to their class refreshed and energised. Try and make sure the children in your class go out everyday - it's easier for the children and they get the full benefits. The Daily Mile takes place in a 15 minute turnaround - from leaving the classroom until returning. Simple! 

Spread of the innovation

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