The Active Mile Daily Track is a physical activity programme that has been adopted by many schools in Wiltshire. It is a 15 min walk/run exercise that can be performed in school grounds with pupils wearing accelerometers to monitor their physical activity levels. Anecdotal evidence suggests that it leads to improved concentration in the classroom and behaviour around the school.
We compared an intervention primary school that had introduced the Daily Mile with a control school that did not. The pupils at both schools were monitored for sedentary time, physical activity (measured with accelerometers) and fitness (measured with a shuttle distance test) before and after the school implemented the Daily Mile.
Incorporating Active Mileage into Your Daily Routine: A Guide
After correction for age, gender and socioeconomic grouping, the Daily Mile was associated with a small but significant improvement in physical activity, sedentary time, fitness and body composition (SMD = 0.407). Improvements in shuttle distance were largely due to an increase in high-intensity running and are therefore likely to be of clinical significance.
In the qualitative interview component of the study, teachers were asked to respond to open-ended questions based on the RE-AIM framework (online supplementary appendix). These were designed pragmatically rather than from a theoretical perspective and were meant to probe how the initiative was viewed by teachers and any perceived benefits, barriers, and facilitators to participation and delivery.
Overall, teachers were very positive about the impact of the Daily Mile at their schools and believed it was an important way of breaking up sedentary time in the school day. In addition, it was reported that the Daily Mile was very easy to implement and did not require any extensive preparation. Teachers were also able to adapt the Daily Mile to fit the facilities at their school. This included using the indoor sports hall in bad weather and moving the Daily Mile to other areas of the school when outdoor space was unavailable.