Brain breaks are essential. They allow students to remain engaged. They reset and recharge. Research shows that even in its “default mode,” the brain is still active. This mode is the state of rest usually associated with taking a break or letting the mind wander. (University of Southern California)
On a typical day a student spends more than a quarter of their day distracted and unable to focus on the teacher. (Carnegie Mellon University) Brain breaks are a solution to that problem.
But, as important as brain breaks are, physical activity is also essential.
Schools are not meeting physical education recommendations. A study in the Journal of Education and Practice looked at 379 elementary schools in Oregon. Ninety-two percent fell short of the CDC’s recommendations for physical activity.
The Daily Mile helps schools meet physical education requirements. And, it provides students and teachers with refresh time outside of the
classroom. It is a brain break combined with physical activity.
What is The Daily Mile?
The Daily Mile takes students outdoors for 15 minutes of physical activity every day. Students can take part at whatever level is comfortable for them. They can run, jog, walk or roll – the important thing is to move for the entire 15 minutes. The program is turn-key and can adapt to any setting. Traditional schools, homeschool and daycares can all take part in The Daily Mile! Check out this video showing how a class from Parker Elementary in Texas does The Daily Mile from desk to desk.
Since that study was published 24 schools in Oregon have signed up to do The Daily Mile. The Daily Mile, in partnership with the World Athletics Champions recently teamed up with athletes from the University of Oregon to visit the schools and pump up the kids during their Daily Mile. Check out these videos from Marcola Community School, Malabon Elementary School and Oakridge Elementary School.
Why is The Daily Mile the perfect brain break?
Brain breaks are usually taken at designated times. You can schedule brain breaks. They can also be when a teacher notices participation and concentration waning. The Daily Mile fits with either of these models. Sample block and period schedules show how The Daily Mile can fit into the school day.
Brain breaks provide students with many cognitive benefits. The Daily Mile provides those same benefits. Benefits of physical activity for students during class time include:
- Enhancing accuracy and reaction time on cognitive tasks (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
- Allowing students to better stay on task (Carnegie Mellon University)
- Making retaining information easier (Harvard Medical School)
- Allowing students to remember things longer (Max-Planck-Gesellschaft)
And don’t forget about the physical benefits as well.
The program is free – forever – all someone has to do to take part is sign up.
The Daily Mile is a self-sustaining brain break. The students start to crave the time they are able to get up and get outside. It only takes about 21 days, or three weeks, for the habit to form.
The Daily Mile is the perfect physical activity brain break. Children who do The Daily Mile are better learners and are also happier and healthier.