A systematic review of the effect of The Daily Mile ™ on children’s physical activity, physical health, mental health, wellbeing, academic performance and cognitive function

Gavin Breslin, Medbh Hillyard, Noel Brick, Stephen Shannon, Brenda McKay-Redmond, Barbara McConnell, Cosme F. Buzzachera (Editor)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Background A minority of children in the United Kingdom meet the recommended physical activity guidelines. One initiative which has been introduced to try and increase the physical activity levels of school children is The Daily Mile™ (TDM). The aim of this review was to determine the effect of TDM on children's physical activity levels, physical health, mental health, wellbeing, academic performance and cognitive function. Methods Six databases were systematically searched from TDM's inception (2012) to 30 th June 2022. Studies were included if they involved school-aged children (aged 4-12 years), taking part in TDM and measured at least one pre-defined outcome. Results Thirteen studies were included from the 123 studies retrieved. Longer-term participation in TDM was found to increase moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and physical fitness. None of the studies reported a significant change in Body Mass Index or academic performance. An acute bout of TDM was not found to improve cognitive function, however one good-quality study reported that longer-term participation in TDM increased visual spatial working memory. There was evidence from one fair-quality design study that TDM can improve mental health in the short term. There were no significant effects on wellbeing, however scores on self-perceptions improved mainly for children with low baseline self-perceptions. Conclusion There is evidence to show that TDM can increase physical activity and physical fitness. However, higher-quality research, with adequate participant randomisation and longer-term, post-intervention follow-up is needed to ensure that any changes accurately reflect the components of TDM and are sustained beyond an intervention time frame. Policy recommendations of TDM increasing PA levels in the short term are supported by the evidence in this review. However, long-term improvement on mental health, wellbeing, academic performance and cognitive function requires further good-to excellent quality research. Promisingly, several protocol articles that include randomised controlled trials with long term followup have been published. These higher-quality design studies may provide a stronger evidence-base on the effects of TDM on children's health and should underpin future recommendations in public health policy.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0277375
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume18
Issue number1
Early online date12 Jan 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished online - 12 Jan 2023

Bibliographical note

Copyright: © 2023 Breslin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Funding Information:
This project was funded by The Education Authority Northern Ireland. The funder had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. We would like to acknowledge the support of the Daily Mile Network Northern Ireland, Nicola Topping from the Education Authority Northern Ireland and Colette Brolly from the Public Health Agency in Northern Ireland.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Breslin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Funding Information:
This project was funded by The Education Authority Northern Ireland. The funder had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. We would like to acknowledge the support of the Daily Mile Network Northern Ireland, Nicola Topping from the Education Authority Northern Ireland and Colette Brolly from the Public Health Agency in Northern Ireland.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Breslin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Copyright: © 2023 Breslin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Funding Information:
This project was funded by The Education Authority Northern Ireland. The funder had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. We would like to acknowledge the support of the Daily Mile Network Northern Ireland, Nicola Topping from the Education Authority Northern Ireland and Colette Brolly from the Public Health Agency in Northern Ireland.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Breslin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Funding Information:
This project was funded by The Education Authority Northern Ireland. The funder had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. We would like to acknowledge the support of the Daily Mile Network Northern Ireland, Nicola Topping from the Education Authority Northern Ireland and Colette Brolly from the Public Health Agency in Northern Ireland.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Breslin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Funding Information:
This project was funded by The Education Authority Northern Ireland. The funder had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. We would like to acknowledge the support of the Daily Mile Network Northern Ireland, Nicola Topping from the Education Authority Northern Ireland and Colette Brolly from the Public Health Agency in Northern Ireland.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Breslin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Keywords

  • Research Article
  • Social sciences
  • Medicine and health sciences
  • People and places
  • Biology and life sciences
  • Research and analysis methods
  • Exercise/psychology
  • Humans
  • Mental Health
  • Cognition
  • Academic Performance
  • Memory, Short-Term
  • Child
  • Exercise

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