Scotland takes another step towards becoming the world’s first Daily Mile Nation
CHILDREN in Scotland have inspired one of the biggest energy firms in the UK to help make their staff healthier, happier and more productive.
From today (September 19), ScottishPower will become the first company to sign up to “The Daily Mile”™ – the free initiative credited with making primary school pupils fitter, more resilient and more focused in lessons.
Scottish Minister for Public Health and Sport Aileen Campbell was among the VIPs at ScottishPower’s headquarters in Glasgow today, to launch the company’s ‘Walk The Daily Mile’ initiative.
“ScottishPower has recognised the benefits of encouraging its workforce to be healthier and now we want other workplaces to follow suit,” she said. “We know that being physically active makes employees more productive and less likely to take time off due to sickness.”
Scotland was the birthplace of The Daily Mile: a daily, 15-minute burst of physical activity that’s been shown to improve children’s physical, mental, social and emotional health and wellbeing.
Since that first 15-minute run in 2012, about 600,000 children in more than 3,000 primary schools worldwide, including over 1,000 in Scotland, now run almost two million miles a week.
“Scotland has been leading the way from the start,” said founder Elaine Wyllie. “We all know of the benefits of being physically active for our health and wellbeing – for children and adults both – so I’m delighted that Scotland’s workforce will be following in the footsteps of our primary school children.”
ScottishPower has produced a leaflet to show its employees how easily they can exercise more.
“Our Occupational Health team has been inspired by the success and simplicity of the initiative already adopted by schools,” said Keith Anderson, Chief Corporate Officer ScottishPower. “The move to our new headquarters in Glasgow offers the perfect opportunity to encourage over 1600 employees to think about changing their commuting habits.”
Walking a mile each day has been shown to reduce the risk of chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, asthma and stroke.
It can also help to make you feel happier, reduce stress, build self-esteem and lead to a good night’s sleep.
“Already, many more are either walking to work and enjoying a healthier start to the day or clocking up a ‘Daily Mile’ in their lunch hour,” said Mr Anderson. “Given its early success, I’m delighted to confirm we’re also launching it across all main ScottishPower sites in the UK.”
The Daily Mile Foundation supports the Scottish Government’s pledge to make Scotland the world’s first Daily Mile Nation.
“The Daily Mile only takes around 15 minutes so it could easily become part of workers’ lunch breaks, or they could try having a walking meeting,” said Ms Campbell. “That would result in minimal disruption but great benefits to their health and wellbeing.”
Obesity is a growing problem throughout the UK, including Scotland. Figures released by the Scottish Government recently showed that in 2015, 65% of adults were overweight –and almost 30% were classed as obese.
“We believe The Daily Mile can help us to reduce health inequalities and the impact on our NHS,” said Ms Campbell.
The Scottish Government has already written to all schools, nurseries, colleges and universities to encourage them to make The Daily Mile part of their daily routine.
Now it is writing to public and private sector companies to urge employees to walk a mile every day, to improve their health, wellbeing and fitness.
“Together we can make Scotland a much healthier and fitter country,” said John Swinney, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education.
INEOS, one of the UK’s largest privately-owned companies, is a big supporter of Elaine’s campaign and Scotland’s vision for a healthier nation. It has been quietly investing its time, energy and money to promote The Daily Mile since 2015, via The Daily Mile Foundation.
And that support is paying off.
In addition to working with the Scottish Government to deliver ‘The Daily Mile Nation’ project, The Daily Mile Foundation has also partnered with the Welsh Government to rollout the initiative across all primary and nursery schools in Wales.
The scheme is also being championed by teachers in the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Spain, France, Italy, Germany, and the US – and its impact is being felt in far-flung places such as Kuwait, Hawaii and Indonesia.
For media enquiries, please contact The Daily Mile Foundation’s Media Agency, Media Zoo on (+44)207 384 6980, at Joseph@mediazoo.tv