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The daily mile : teachers' perspectives of the barriers and facilitators to the delivery of a school-based physical activity intervention

Malden, Stephen and Doi, Lawrence (2019) The daily mile : teachers' perspectives of the barriers and facilitators to the delivery of a school-based physical activity intervention. BMJ Open, 9 (3). ISSN 2044-6055

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    Abstract

    Objectives Children spend a significant amount of their time in a school environment, often engaged in sedentary activities. The Daily Mile is a physical activity intervention which aims to increase physical activity and fitness in children through the completion of an outdoor teacher-led walk or run during the school day. This study aimed to explore the barriers, facilitators and perceived benefits of the Daily Mile from the perspectives of teachers through the use of qualitative semi-structured interviews. It also aimed to identify important context-specific factors, which might require consideration for those who intend to adopt the Daily Mile. Setting Eight Local Authority primary schools in the City of Edinburgh and East Lothian, UK. Participants Thirteen teachers (eleven women) who teach children in primaries one to seven in a school which delivered the Daily Mile. Results Data were analysed using an interpretative thematic analysis. Teachers were positive and enthusiastic about the Daily Mile and perceived it to be beneficial to children's health and fitness. A number of barriers to participation were identified including inadequate all-weather running surfaces and time constraints in an already full school curriculum. The perceived impact on learning time was identified as a concern for teachers, while other benefits were also identified including increased teacher-child rapport and perceived enhanced classroom concentration levels. Conclusion The Daily Mile appears to be a valuable addition to the school day, however important context-specific barriers to delivery of the Daily Mile exist, which should be considered when implementing the Daily Mile in schools.