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The Daily Mile seeking to expand into Secure Estate

The Daily Mile™, the hugely successful initiative that is boosting children’s physical activity levels across the world, wants to expand into the Secure Estate.

Since its launch in 2012, The Daily Mile has been adopted by over 4,000 schools across 36 countries – equating to around 750,000 children jogging or running for 15 minutes a day. The Daily Mile is so-called because it was found that most people average a mile in 15 minutes of running or jogging. By focusing on the time of 15 minutes rather than on the distance, it keeps The Daily Mile non-competitive, social and inclusive.

Last week, The Daily Mile Foundation announced a new version of the initiative called The Daily Mile Fit For Life, which aims to expand the programme to anyone aged 11+ in secondary schools, colleges, universities, workplaces, community spaces and retirement homes regardless of age, circumstance, or environment. Fit For Life encourages people to incorporate 15 minutes of self-paced physical activity (walking, jogging or running) into their daily life, to experience the benefits of regular exercise.

The Foundation now want to give those in secure settings the chance to participate in The Daily Mile and is working with the Alliance of Sport for the Desistance of Crime to reach officials from secure children’s homes, secure training centres, Young Offenders Institutions and prisons.

This will only add to the momentum of the Fit For Life campaign, an idea which began when the Scottish Government made a pledge in August 2017 to become the first ‘Daily Mile Nation’. More recently, in March of this year, Greater Manchester committed to becoming the world’s first Daily Mile City-region at a special presentation attended by Andy Burnham, Lord Mayor of Greater Manchester.

Participation in The Daily Mile Fit For Life has been noted to improve relationships between those taking part. It is a daily reminder of self-care and can help build self-esteem. Moreover, when engaged as part of a ‘challenge’, it can promote team building and collaborative behaviours. Finally, there is no better way of reducing stress than 15 minutes in the fresh air, and being able to return to your daily life with refreshed focus and concentration.

The benefits of The Daily Mile were given official validation last week by researchers at Edinburgh and Stirling Universities. Their findings confirmed that it boosts activity levels in class, improves fitness and body composition with increased time spent active per day, decreased time spent sedentary per day and increased running performance.

“We would love as many institutions and workplaces as possible to participate in The Daily Mile,” says founder, Elaine Wyllie (pictured below).

“It is natural that The Daily Mile should be introduced into secure settings. The physical, social, emotional and mental health and wellbeing benefits of the initiative should be available to everyone regardless of personal circumstance.”

The Alliance of Sport for the Desistance of Crime is now facilitating initial meetings across the Secure Estate to kickstart the process. The hope is that The Daily Mile will follow in the footsteps of parkrun, which is now established in three prisons and plans to expand into many more.

Justin Coleman, Alliance of Sport Co-Founder and Secretariat, commented: “The Daily Mile is proving that solutions to many of society’s current challenges can be supported by regular, safe and socially-connected physical activity.

“The findings from Edinburgh and Stirling Universities’ research and, in particular, the approach in Scotland and Greater Manchester can’t be ignored. We welcome the findings with open arms and will support The Daily Mile in their drive towards enabling physical activity to be used as a credible tool for proactive change; from community to prisons settings, for young and for old, the research will continue.

“This report proves that physical activity provides a firm platform for the systemic solution towards the highly debated mental health, obesity and inactivity situation that we as a society are facing. The Alliance of Sport look forward to developing the movement and further supporting the research with The Daily Mile Team.”

Alliance of Sport members from across the Secure Estate who are interested in introducing The Daily Mile should contact the Foundation at team@thedailymile.co.uk or for more information on the initiative visit www.thedailymilefitforlife.com

The Daily Mile Logo and ‘The Daily Mile’ name are trademarks belonging to The Daily Mile Foundation, Hawkslease, Chapel Lane, Lyndhurst. U.K. and are reproduced with permission. All rights reserved.

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