The Daily Mile and Imperial College London announced a research partnership at the children’s ‘GO Run London’ event, which took place on 20 June.
The GO Run London event, part of the GO Run For Fun programme, was in collaboration with The Daily Mile – an initiative to encourage pupils to get active by running or jogging at school, at their own pace, for 15 minutes every day.
A total of 2,472 children and 45 schools crossed the finish line in the world’s largest children’s running initiative, hosted by GB athlete Jazmin Sawyers and TV presenter Radzi Chinyanganya, alongside special guest Elaine Wyllie MBE who founded The Daily Mile in 2012. Of the 45 participating schools, four are signed up to The Daily Mile initiative.
The three-year research project with Imperial College London will delve deeper into the benefits of The Daily Mile to analyse the long-term impact on primary school children. The study will provide the first large-scale assessment of the benefits on the health and educational achievement of pupils in primary schools across England. The study will also assess the socio-demographic profile of schools that participate in The Daily Mile to explore, in particular, how the programme impacts schools in areas of disadvantage.
Imperial College London, with the support of The Daily Mile Foundation, will aim to address two key questions: whether schools that participate in The Daily Mile have better physical health and educational attainment, and whether these improvements are sustained over primary school life.
Professor Sonia Saxena, Professor of Primary Care at Imperial College London’s School of Public Health, is the project’s principal investigator, supported by a team of researchers and co-funded by the National School for Public Health Research. In order to answer the research questions, data will be analysed from a range of sources, including national datasets such as the National Childhood Measurement Programme and information gathered from primary schools across England.
Professor Saxena said, “The Daily Mile is a great example of a simple, free, inclusive intervention that has built-in sustainability because it has grown from grass roots. The potential lifelong health benefits of investing in daily physical activity are immense but need strong science to support its implementation. We look forward to working closely with the Foundation over the coming years.”
Since its launch in 2013, 300,000 children have taken part in GO Run For Fun, making a positive impact on the health and well-being of children worldwide. Collectively with The Daily Mile, the two initiatives have since inspired more than two million children to get active.
ukactive Director of Children, Young People and Families Jack Shakespeare said:
“Schools are vital settings to help children be as active as possible, so we need to ensure opportunities for physical activity in school are as fun, accessible and beneficial as possible. Research such as this is so important to help us build the evidence base for what works when it comes to activity programmes for children and young people. If we share our knowledge and evidence then we can ensure we deliver activities across the UK that can provide incredible benefits children, not just physically but mentally and socially too.”
To find out more about this free-to-enter initiative and how you can get involved in future events, visit: gorunforfun.com/
For more information on The Daily Mile, visit: https://thedailymile.co.uk/