Active Mile Daily Track in Primary Schools

Active Mile Daily Track is a popular school-based physical activity programme that has been anecdotally reported to improve children’s fitness and health. This study investigates whether introducing the programme in primary schools increases MVPA and reduces sedentary time, as well as improving children’s fitness and body composition, using a quasi-experimental design with repeated measures and gold-standard assessment techniques.Read more:

Participants were pupils in primary schools in the Stirling Council area who were aged 4-12 years at baseline. Pupils in both schools were randomly allocated to the experimental (The Daily Mile) or control group (no The Daily Mile). At each measurement point, accelerometers measured average daily moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity and sedentary time, 20-m shuttle run fitness test performance and adiposity assessed by skinfolds. Taking part in the Daily Mile was associated with increased weekly MVPA (SMD = 9.1 min, p 0.001) and reduced sedentary time (SMD = 22.7 min, p 0.05). There were no significant differences between groups for gender, standing long jump or waist-to-height ratio (p > 0.05).

Active Mileage and Cardiovascular Health: What You Need to Know

Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with thirteen teachers from the originator school to explore their experience of delivering The Daily Mile. Data were analysed using interpretative thematic analysis. The results indicate that teachers were positive about the programme and believed it to be beneficial for children’s health and fitness. However, a number of barriers were identified such as time constraints within an already full curriculum and lack of suitable all-weather running surfaces. Moreover, some teachers regarded The Daily Mile as an additional to and not a replacement for the two hours per week of formal PE that they are expected to deliver.