The concept of The Daily Mile is simple, yet brilliant. It aims to improve the physical, emotional and social health and well-being of children regardless of age or personal circumstance.
Elaine Wyllie, former Headteacher at St Ninians Primary School in Scotland started the initiative with her school in February 2012 after reporting that the children lacked fitness. By September that year, none of her children were deemed over weight.
The Governments recent report Childhood Obesity: A Plan of Action details that;
“Physical activity is associated with numerous health benefits for children, such as muscle and bone strength, health and fitness, improved quality of sleep and maintenance of a healthy weight.”
It also stipulates that; “Long-term, sustainable change will only be achieved through the active engagement of schools, communities, families and individuals.”
In order to improve fitness levels and combat obesity in our children it is critical schools work with children and their families to make fitness a part of everyday life.
The Childhood Obesity report goes on to detail the new Healthy Rating for Primary Schools that will be introduced in 2017. This new initiative will be taken into account by Ofsted, meaning schools need to ensure they are putting measures in place to do their part in combatting obesity for our current and future generations.
The UK Chief Medical Officers recommend that all Children should engage in moderate to vigorous physical activity for at least 60 minutes daily, with at least 30 mins to be delivered in school every day.
This is where the Daily Mile can become integral to improving fitness for children, not just now, but as a sustainable attribute to the school day.
Any primary school or nursery can implement the concept and it takes little more than 15 minutes to complete. No need for expensive equipment, specialist clothing. It’s simple; walk, run, jump or even skip one mile every day.
Aside from being about fitness, the concept is fun. The children don’t need to be natural runners, it’s also about social interaction and getting out in the fresh air.
The Daily Mile can incorporate running games, things like Crocodile, where the children jog in a line and the back person runs to the front of this line, repeating this sequence until the mile is complete. It’s a fantastic way to make the activity more fun.
It’s predominantly about moving more. Getting children out of the classroom and taking part in a short period of physical activity is proven to stimulate traditional learning and improve their concentration levels, mood and behaviour.
Dr Richard Bailey from the International Council of Sport Science and Physical Education states;
“Physically active children and young people perform better academically than their inactive peers and those who are most active benefit the most.”
After taking advice from Elaine Wyllie, UniPlay have been installing durable thermoplastic playground markings to mark out a Daily Mile circuit within educational settings throughout the country. Making the best use of the space available, and ensuring its positioning is best suited to make the activity sustainable, we’ve helped to ensure schools are doing their part in combatting the obesity crisis.
Our Daily Mile playground markings are a cost-effective, yet long lasting addition to any playground. They are bright, colourful and are designed specifically for your school.
Make your Daily Mile as fun as possible, and enlist the help of Uni-Play to ensure it is marked out to last!