Physical Activity During School
The Daily Mile is an easy physical activity during school
The connection between physical activity during school and improved academic performance has district health and wellness leaders searching for answers. With many adopting the Comprehensive School Physical Activity Plan (CSPAP), more students gain access to 60 minutes of physical activity each day. In addition to improving focus and concentration, regular physical activity can also improve memory function, problem solving, and cognitive performance.
CSPAP is a framework for planning and organizing activities as part of the larger Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) model. While WSCC addresses health in school on multiple levels (including social and emotional wellness), CSPAP uses all opportunities for students to meet physical activity requirements as outlined by the CDC. These include:
- Physical Education
- Physical Activity During School
- Staff Involvement
- Family and Community Engagement
- Physical Activity Before and After School
The Daily Mile is a simple, free and fun answer to three of these opportunities. Defined as a whole-child wellness initiative, The Daily Mile provides an opportunity for outdoor physical activity. School staff is involved as teachers take their students outdoors to run, jog, roll or walk for 15 minutes during the school day. Students return to class focused and eager to learn. Teacher testimonials prove that the outdoor time allows for teachers to connect with their students in a positive social climate.
The Daily Mile requires staff involvement
The Daily Mile empowers teachers to create positive learning environments. Giving teachers the autonomy to decide when The Daily Mile works best for their class helps promote the best learning outcomes for students. Many teachers take their students outdoors for 15 minutes of physical activity before difficult subject lessons. Teachers also use The Daily Mile to alleviate excess energy or when students are having trouble focusing.
The Daily Mile exists through family and community engagement
The Daily Mile also provides the opportunity for family and community engagement. Parents, guardians, and community members can support The Daily Mile as an answer to CSPAP by becoming Champions of the initiative. By talking to their child’s principal, counselor, PE coach, or PTA/PTO, these champions can bring The Daily Mile to schools for free.
What about Physical Activity Before/After School & Physical Education?
Technically, The Daily Mile can be done at home with families to encourage additional physical activity before or after school. Many families enjoy the physical activity over the weekends as well. The Daily Mile’s sister program, Fit For Life, offers free toolkits to inspire individuals & families, and even workplaces and groups to continue doing The Daily Mile. However, The Daily Mile is most effective when done at school to maximize the classroom benefits (i.e. improving memory function, focus, academic attainment, and cognitive performance). It also provides social emotional benefits like building better relationships with teachers and peers when done at school.
Additionally, The Daily Mile does not compete with recess or PE but instead compliments them. As a friendly, non-competitive activity, students benefit emotionally, socially, and academically. The Daily Mile is more frequent than PE, yet more structured (and quicker) than recess. For children to have the best chance at meeting physical activity requirements set forth by the CDC, The Daily Mile, PE and Recess are necessary. reach the required children need all are essential.