The Daily Mile: 15 Minutes Running Improves the Physical Fitness of Italian Primary School Children

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019 Oct 15;16(20):3921. doi: 10.3390/ijerph16203921.


The Daily Mile™ is an innovative school-based intervention that requires children to run or jog outside for 15 min at a self-selected pace during class time. Today, only one study has investigated the efficacy of The Daily Mile on physical fitness, which was conducted with Scottish children. Thus, we aimed to evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of The Daily Mile in Italian primary schools. A total of 486 children participated in The Daily Mile for 3 months (experimental group), whereas 309 children continued their daily school routine (control group). The 6-min run test, standing long jump, body mass index, and waist-to-height ratio were assessed. Their teachers completed surveys for assessing the intervention acceptability. After correction for age and gender, significant group × time interactions were observed in the 6-min run test and standing long jump results. In the post-test period, the experimental group showed improvement in the 6-min run test and standing long jump results. Overall, the teachers were satisfied with the program and found it suitable for their school context and easy to implement. The Daily Mile was successfully implemented and smoothly accepted in the day routine of Italian primary schools.

Keywords: active break; health promotion; healthy lifestyle; physical activity; school-based intervention.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Body Mass Index
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Male
  • Physical Fitness*
  • Running*
  • Schools*
  • Waist-Height Ratio