Active Mile Daily Track – An Evaluation of the Intervention in Primary Schools
Active Mile Daily Track is a primary school physical activity intervention that encourages pupils to run, jog or walk for 15 minutes each day in a social setting often using a dedicated Daily Mile running track. The Daily Mile has been adopted by schools across the UK and abroad and there is anecdotal evidence of positive physiological health benefits from taking part. However, to date there has been no published evaluation of the programme to support its effectiveness and a clear need for this type of pragmatic interventional study.
This paper reports results from a two-arm randomised controlled trial of the Daily Mile and provides the first assessment of this widespread intervention. Teachers in both participating schools were informed of the aim of the study and had the option to either introduce (experimental group) or continue with The Daily Mile as usual in their classrooms (control group). Pupils wore accelerometers and teachers reported when, where and with whom the children took part in The Daily Mile.
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The results indicate that introducing The Daily Mile led to a statistically significant increase in MVPA, a reduction in sedentary time and improvements in key measures of cardiorespiratory fitness. Moreover, the impact on sedentary time appears to be cumulative, increasing over the course of a week in both the experimental and control groups.
Semi-structured interviews were conducted with teachers, and the interview guide is available in online supplementary appendix 1. Teachers were generally favorable towards The Daily Mile and reported that it was feasible to deliver. However, the majority conceded that it takes away valuable academic classroom time per week and they therefore felt that this could have a negative impact on their teaching.