The effect of The Daily Mile on primary school children’s aerobic fitness levels after 12 weeks: a controlled trial
- Jonge, M. de, Slot-Heijs, J.J., Prins, R.G., Singh, A.S.
The Daily Mile (TDM) is a school-based physical activity intervention encompassing a 15-minute run at least three times per week. This study aimed to determine:
- the effects of performing TDM for 12 weeks on Dutch primary school children’s aerobic fitness levels;
- if additional personal support for teachers impacted the effectiveness of TDM.
Nine Dutch primary schools (n = 659 children, grades 5–8) were allocated to a control (no TDM), intervention (12 weeks TDM) or intervention-plus (12 weeks TDM, additional personal support) group. The Shuttle Run Test (SRT) was used to assess aerobic fitness at baseline and follow-up.
Data were analyzed using a multiple-imputed dataset and multilevel linear regression models to account for the clustering of students within classes and classes within schools. The regression analyses were adjusted for sex and age. Compared with the control group, significant intervention effects of TDM on SRT score were observed for the intervention group (β = 1.1; 95% CI: 0.8; 1.5) and the intervention-plus group (β = 0.6; 95% CI 0.3; 0.9).
Additional personal support had no impact on the effectiveness of TDM. These results suggest that performing TDM at least three times per week for approximately 12 weeks increases primary school children’s aerobic fitness.
Additional personal support did not improve the effectiveness of TDM on aerobic fitness within this period. These results contribute to the body of evidence surrounding TDM, but further research is needed regarding long-term implementation of TDM.