Impact of The Daily Mile on children's physical and mental health, and educational attainment in primary schools: iMprOVE cohort study protocol.

Change log


School-based active mile initiatives such as The Daily Mile (TDM) are widely promoted to address shortfalls in meeting physical activity recommendations. The iMprOVE Study aims to examine the impact of TDM on children's physical and mental health and educational attainment throughout primary school. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: iMprOVE is a longitudinal quasi-experimental cohort study. We will send a survey to all state-funded primary schools in Greater London to identify participation in TDM. The survey responses will be used for non-random allocation to either the intervention group (Daily Mile schools) or to the control group (non-Daily Mile schools). We aim to recruit 3533 year 1 children (aged 5-6 years) from 77 primary schools and follow them up annually until the end of their primary school years. Data collection taking place at baseline (children in school year 1) and each primary school year thereafter includes device-based measures of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and questionnaires to measure mental health (Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire) and educational attainment (ratings from 'below expected' to 'above expected levels'). The primary outcome is the mean change in MVPA minutes from baseline to year 6 during the school day among the intervention group compared with controls. We will use multilevel linear regression models adjusting for sociodemographic data and participation in TDM. The study is powered to detect a 10% (5.5 min) difference between the intervention and control group which would be considered clinically significant.

Ethics and dissemination

Ethics has been approved from Imperial College Research Ethics Committee, reference 20IC6127. Key findings will be disseminated to the public through research networks, social, print and media broadcasts, community engagement opportunities and schools. We will work with policy-makers for direct application and impact of our findings.


Funder: Cancer Research UK

Funder: British Heart Foundation

epidemiology, Public Health, Community Child Health, Humans, Exercise, Cohort Studies, Mental Health, Schools, Child, Educational Status, School Health Services
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BMJ open
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Wellcome Trust (087636/Z/08/Z)
Medical Research Council (MC_UU_12015/7, MR/K023187/1)