Health Benefits

The Daily Mile is backed by university research to improve all aspects of a child’s life. Elementary school children gain many physical, emotional, social, and mental benefits from doing The Daily Mile. The following list is collated from our observations, scientific research, and the experiences of many schools.

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The Daily Mile is effective in keeping children active and healthy. Daily Mile schools and scientific research have reported the following benefits:


   Fitness, stamina and energy levels are increased 

   It reduces obesity and improves body composition – bone density, muscle strength, joints and cardiovascular health

   Gross and fine motor skills are developed, leading to better balance and coordination

   Children are less sedentary, doing more moderate to vigorous activity

   Improves physical development in children from preschool age upwards

   It promotes the idea of self-care with children becoming more aware of their own health and the need to take responsibility for it

   It can benefit children with medical conditions, such as diabetes and asthma

   Children doing The Daily Mile have the chance to create better health outcomes for the future

   There is no feeling of being left out – it’s always 100% inclusive and all children take part, including those with special and complex needs

   The children enjoy it and look forward to it – having fun, in the fresh air with friends, with a sense of freedom

   Being outdoors, children can have those feelings which come through connecting with the weather, seasons and nature

   It can result in children reporting generally higher levels of self-satisfaction

   It can help to reduce feelings of anxiety and stress, with children feeling happier and more refreshed

   There is no sense of failure – everyone succeeds at The Daily Mile because it’s not a race

   Confidence and self-esteem are improved and enhanced

   It helps children to develop greater resilience and determination

   After running and jogging for 15 minutes, greater focus and concentration is evident in class 

   The children are often more settled afterwards, leading to improvements in behavior

   As it’s a social activity, it can help to build relationships and reduce isolation

   It helps tackle inequality – no child needs special clothing, equipment, money or transportation to participate

   It helps to close the health inequality gap between the most and least deprived children

   Parents can start to see the benefits at home, often reporting that their children are eating and sleeping better, as well as encouraging their family to be more active


...the strongest evidence exists for a positive association between physical activity and cardio-metabolic health, muscular strength, bone health, cardio-respiratory fitness, self-esteem, anxiety/stress, academic achievement, cognitive functioning, attention/concentration, confidence, and peer friendship.

Change4Life Evidence Review: Rapid evidence review on the effect of physical activity participation among children aged 5 – 11 years