Health A daily walk or jog at school proven to make children fitter and healthier

05:11  15 may  2018
05:11  15 may  2018 Source:

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Those who engaged in daily moderate exercise, such as a brisk walk or jog , high-intensity interval Part of what makes walking so beneficial is that when you’re walking you can’t be sitting. For those who are fit , walking is a phenomenal maintenance activity that will allow you to be healthy into old age.

Scheme makes children more likely to be a healthy weight and physically fit . The Daily Mile initiative was set up by a former headteacher in 2012. It involves pupils walking , jogging or running a mile every day for 15 minutes.

Children walking to school.© Getty Children walking to school. The Daily Mile was launched in 2012 by Scottish teacher Elaine Wyllie, who was alarmed to see her pupils struggling to complete even basic fitness tasks.

It made a huge impact at her school, and the initiative has since spread around Scotland, the UK and the rest of the world: At the more than 3,000 participating schools, students head outside every day to walk, jog or run for 15 minutes.

Teachers have long reported the benefits of the program — and now those benefits have been proven in a study published in the journal BMC Medicine.

Researchers from the University of Stirling and the University of Edinburgh tested almost 400 primary school students from two schools: one that had just implemented the Daily Mile, and another that hadn't.

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Pupils at St Ninian’s primary school in Stirling walk or run a mile every day – the ‘ daily mile’. Elaine Wyllie, who is headteacher of St Ninians, the primary school in Stirling in Scotland that pioneered the scheme, says of its success: “The children are fit and healthy , they come in energised, ready to

The Harvard Medical School 6-Week Plan for Healthy Eating (Print - Free U.S. Shipping!) Make walking part of your daily life. This table shows calories burned per mile of walking or jogging on the level for people of varying weights

Near the start of the school year, all the children wore accelerometers to gauge how much physical activity they did, and had their body fat measured via a skinfold test. They also participated in the dreaded "beep test" to score their fitness.

About six months later, the students underwent the same tests — and the ones from the school participating in the Daily Mile recorded significant improvements, according to study co-author Dr Naomi Brooks.

Those children increased their moderate-to-vigorous levels of physical activity by nine minutes a day, decreased their sedentary time by almost 20 minutes, added almost 40m on average to their beep test result, and improved their body composition.

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The school really encourages this and I have two one hour lessons a week plus one to two hours daily practice. I am in the basketball team. If you're achieving high grades at A-level (or equivalent), you can feel quite a lot of pressure to " prove yourself' by getting an Oxbridge offer.

Fast walk or jog for 15 minutes at lunch. Do the same thing after school — or walk or bike home. The best way to stay at a healthy weight (or lose weight if you need to) is to make healthy food choices daily .

"With my pupils, I saw that 15 minutes of daily activity rapidly improved pupils' fitness, health and concentration in the classroom," said Wyllie at an event announcing the study results. "I am delighted that this new research underlines what I found and I look forward to the day when every school does the Daily Mile."

The study is significant because, around the world, children's fitness is falling as their body fat rises.

Children are advised to do 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity a day. According to one report card, less than one in five Australian children meet that target — a similar grade to other countries. Globally, children now have worse cardiovascular fitness than their parents did at the same age.

Meanwhile, a study released in late 2017 found one in four Australian children is now overweight or obese. The World Health Organisation has identified childhood obesity as "one of the most serious public health challenges of the 21st century", as overweight and unfit children are more likely to grow up to be overweight and unfit adults.

The Daily Mile is hailed as a solution to the problem because it's free, straightforward to implement, and requires no special training or equipment.

Writing for The Conversation, the researchers poured cold water on suggestions that the Daily Mile takes away time that could be spent on lessons, arguing physical activity is shown to boost kids' alertness and concentration.

Anecdotally, the initiative has also been reported to improve children's diet, sleep and overall wellbeing.

"In future we need to expand our research to understand whether it can work in different educational settings, such as high schools, and whether it works equally well for pupils from different backgrounds," the researchers wrote.

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