News and Press Release

Title : Fit Bodies. Fit Minds. Fit Kids

London, UK. Running a mile a day can help children do better in reading, writing, (running) and maths

In January this year, a study by Fitmedia showed that children who ran a mile a day at school achieved up to 25% higher than expected in reading, writing and maths. They were also fitter, more confident and behaved better in class.

The Daily Mile ethos is taking off in a big way as one school in North London have already started to see the benefits of this daily mile. They are in full training for the YMCA One Mile Children’s Fun Run on Sunday 21st May 2017. The runners, dubbed the ‘Mighty Milers’, jog, walk or run for 15 minutes before lessons start every school day, with the aim of completing the YMCA’s One Mile race as their goal. The YMCA North London’s annual Adult 10k and Children’s fun runs has evolved over the last 26 years in to one of the largest community events in North London, and continues to grow in popularity and attendance every year (

Children have been taking part in the YMCA annual run for a long time, and Fitmedia have recently tested a school who were doing a ‘Daily Mile’ to see the benefit of taking part in daily sporting activities in the form of running, walking or jogging a mile a day through a variety of exercise tests. Fitmedia released the findings of their scientific study and showed that before the daily mile, over half the kids they tested were ‘unfit’ but after 15-weeks of the daily mile less than one fifth were still unfit. Additionally, the school reported that the daily mile made their students more focused, attentive and ready to work – hence this remarkable increase in attainment in school tests. This study by Fitmedia shows the benefits of being physically active go far beyond just improving fitness.

Fitter kids are smarter kids we can prove it… says Fitmedia Director Sheila Forster

Articles and Media

Dr Gavin Sandercock and Dr Daniel Cohen’s work in children’s fitness testing has been cited by Sir Liam Donaldson, then the Government’s Chief Medical Officer, in relation to fitness testing in schools.

Some examples of articles relating to the work of Dr Cohen and Dr Sandercock are below:

Both Dr Sandercock and Dr Cohen have appeared on national television and radio, including Radio 4, BBC News 24 and Radio 5 Live and have spoken at national conferences.

Sport and Physical Activity Resources

  • The Department for Culture, Media & Sport is responsible for culture and sport in England, as well as tourism, leisure and the creative industries
  • The Department of Health has responsibility for the National Health Service and for government policy in relation to health and social care
  • The Department for Education is responsible for education, child protection and issues affecting people under the age of 19
  • Public Health England is an executive branch of the Department of Health, previously known as the Health Protection Agency – its purpose is to protect and improve the nation’s health
  • The National Child Measurement Programme is a government initiative which measures the height and weight of children aged 4-6 to assess obesity levels within primary schools
  • The NOO provides a single point of contact for authoritative data, evidence and research related to weight and its determinants.  From 1 April 2013 they became part of Public Health England.
  • Sport England, previously known as the English Sports Council, is a non departmental government body.  Its role is to build England’s community sports system by providing funding for sport and by working with other sports organisations
  • UK Sport is responsible for funding elite performance sport in the UK, by investing public funds in athletes, organisations and events. It is accountable to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport but has no involvement in community or grass roots sport
  • The SRA is the umbrella organisation for the governing and representative sports bodies in the UK.  It speaks on their behalf and represents their views
  • UKActive is a not-for-profit body, made up of organisations in the active lifestyle sector. Their objective is to improve the health of the nation by getting people more active and promoting active lifestyles
  • SCUK works with sports organisations in the UK to develop coach learning, improve coaching systems and provide research and best practice for coaching
  • PADSIS supports teachers responsible for PE and sports in independent schools. It develops management and leadership skills to ensure effective and up to date delivery of sport and PE
  • AfPE is the representative organisation for those delivering or supporting PE in schools and the wider community, including teachers, coaches and organisations
  • YST is an independent charity which is aimed at improving the lives of young people through sport.  It works with schools, sports organisations and the government to support young people to achieve their sporting best
  • EFDS is the strategic lead and umbrella body for disabled people in sport and physical activity, supporting people and organisations in including disabled people in sport
  • WSF aims to get more women doing exercise and sport.  Using research experience and lobbying WSF works to break down the barriers which prevent women being active
  • BASES is the professional body for sport and exercise scientists in the UK.  Their mission is to promote excellence in sport and exercise sciences for the promotion and enhancement of sport and exercise related behaviours
  • SPORTA is the national association representing leisure and cultural trusts. Its members provide 30% of public leisure centres in the UK.
  • CLOA represents senior leaders who manage sport, cultural and tourism services in the UK. It is also a leading member of the National Culture Forum
  • CIMSPA is the chartered professional body for individuals working in the sport and physical activity sector. In addition to support and training for members, it delivers leadership and policy insight for the sector