Objective To examine primary school and local authority characteristics associated with registration for The Daily Mile (TDM), an active mile initiative aimed at increasing physical activity in children.
Design A cross-sectional linkage study using routinely collected data.
Setting All state-funded primary schools in England from 2012 to 2018 (n=15,815).
Results 3,502 of all 15,815 (22.1%) state-funded primary schools in England were registered to do TDM, ranging from 16% in the East Midlands region to 31% in Inner London. Primary schools registered for TDM had larger mean pupil numbers compared with schools that had not registered (300 vs 269, respectively). There was a higher proportion of TDM-registered schools in urban areas compared with non-urban areas. There was local authority variation in the likelihood of school registration (intraclass correlation coefficient: 0.094). After adjusting for school and local authority characteristics, schools located in a major urban conurbation (OR 1.46 (95% CI 1.24 to 1.71) urban vs rural) and schools with a higher proportion of disadvantaged pupils had higher odds of being registered for TDM (OR 1.16 (95% CI 1.02 to 1.33)). Area-based physical activity and schools’ educational attainment were not significantly associated with registration to TDM.
Conclusion One in five primary schools in England has registered for TDM since 2012. TDM appears to be a wide-reaching school-based physical activity intervention that is reaching more disadvantaged primary school populations in urban areas where obesity prevalence is highest. TDM-registered schools include those with both high and low educational attainment and are in areas with high and low physical activity.
- Physical activity
- public health policy
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Twitter Russell Viner @russellviner, Tishya Venkatraman @tishyavenk and Sonia Saxena @SoniaKSaxena.
Contributors TV, SS and KH conceptualised and designed the study. TV and SS acquired data and approvals. TV and KH conducted analysis. All authors were involved in interpretation of data. TV and SS drafted the manuscript. Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content was done by all authors. The corresponding author attests that all listed authors meet authorship criteria and that no others meeting the criteria have been omitted.
Funding TV is funded by an NIHR SPHR PhD Studentship (Grant Reference Number PD-SPH-2015-10055). The NIHR School for Public Health Research is a partnership between the Universities of Sheffield; Bristol; Cambridge; Imperial; and University College London; The London School for Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM); LiLaC – a collaboration between the Universities of Liverpool and Lancaster; and Fuse—The Centre for Translational Research in Public Health, a collaboration between Newcastle, Durham, Northumbria, Sunderland and Teesside Universities. KH is funded by Imperial NIHR Biomedical Research Centre: NIHR-BRC-P68711. BR is funded by The Daily Mile Foundation supported by INEOS. CEC is funded by a personal NIHR Career Development Fellowship (2016-10-95). EVS is supported by the Medical Research Council (MRC) (Grant MC_UU_12015/7). SS holds grants from The Daily Mile Foundation and is funded by the National Institute for Health Research School for Public Health Research (NIHR SPHR) and the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC). The Department of Primary Care and Public Health is grateful for support from the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre funding scheme, the NIHR School for Public Health Research and the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care.
Competing interests SS and BR have received funding for this research from The Daily Mile Foundation supported by INEOS. SS, TV and BR are members of The Daily Mile Foundation Research Advisory Group.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Ethics approval The study was approved by Imperial College Research Ethics Committee (ICREC reference 19IC5320) on June 19, 2019 and adhered to the World Medical Association’s Declaration of Helsinki.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data availability statement Data from the School Census can be found on the United Kingdom Government website via https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/statistics-school-and-pupil-numbers. This is publicly available data. Data for the Absence extract from the National Pupil Database can be found on the United Kingdom Government website via https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/statistics-pupil-absence. This is publicly available data. Data for the educational attainment Key Stage 2 extract from the National Pupil Database can be found on the United Kingdom Government website via https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/statistics-key-stage-2. This is publicly available data. Data for the Active Lives Adult Survey can be found via https://www.sportengland.org/know-your-audience/data/active-lives/active-lives-data-tables. This is publicly available data. Data for the Active Lives Children and Young People Survey can be found via https://www.sportengland.org/know-your-audience/data/active-lives#report_archiveaccess_the_data. This is publicly available data. Data for the National Child Measurement Programme can be found via https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/national-child-measurement-programme. This is publicly available data. Data on registration to The Daily Mile was obtained from The Daily Mile Foundation and is not publicly available.
Dissemination The results of this study will be disseminated to the general public and stakeholders through the seminars, conferences and stakeholder meetings run by The Daily Mile Foundation.
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