A Movement for a FIT and Healthy America
The Cost of Obesity in the USA in 2013 Keeps Rising



Students’ Behavior In The Classroom And Their Attention Spans Have Improved


SILVER SPRING, MD – October 13, 2015 – It appears that a little sweat may well be the secret to lots of academic success in school.  According to a recently published story in The Guardian (London, England), for the last three and a half years, school children attending an elementary school in Stirling, England have been running a mile a day while at school.  Besides the obvious health benefits of this daily exercise for the students, the side effects are powerful and eye-opening:  the students’ behavior in the classroom and their attention spans have improved.

It’s taking less than 15 minutes of the school day for the children to run their daily mile, weather permitting.

News has spread about the benefits of the daily mile at St. Ninians Primary (elementary) School.  Other schools in the United Kingdom are now following the example set in Stirling and introducing the daily mile for their students.

A formal study is being conducted to confirm the link between children running a daily mile and their improved cognitive performance in the classroom.

In the U.S., some schools have adopted similar approaches to physical activity at school during the school year.

Nearly 150 U.S. elementary and middle schools in eight states (FL, CA, CT, LA, MO, TN, MO, and NY) have Morning Mile programs, which is impacting roughly 75,000 students.  This before-school walking and running program has inspired children (and their family members) to arrive at school early each day….and then walk or run between 20 and 45 minutes, before the school bell rings.  Morning Mile founder Fitz Koehler says the results generated by the Morning Mile program speak for themselves.

“In addition to helping prevent the long-term effects of childhood obesity like increased risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and Type 2 Diabetes, providing children the opportunity to exercise each morning also allows students to expend youthful energy on the field leaving them more likely to excel in academics once the school day begins,” says Koehler.  “Teachers praise their students’ new ability to sit still, focus and learn while parents rave about their child’s sense of pride, accomplishment and dedication to a healthy lifestyle.”

“Students are able to work out some energy and get their hearts pumping,” proclaims Jim McKenzie, principal, The Rock School (Gainesville, FL).  “This means less behavior issues and more active, alert participants in the classroom.  My own kids beg me to hurry up and leave the house in the morning so they can get to school in time to run (in the Morning Mile).  That’s just awesome!” 

“The stories about the power of exercise for children at school – whether it’s in the U.S. or the U.K. – are worth noting,” says Mike May, PHIT America’s director of communication.  “Every school district in America should follow their lead.  It’s time for school district leaders in the U.S. to recognize the academic side effects of getting students active every day during the school day.”