'Daily mile' scheme comes to workplace

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People walkingImage source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Employees are being asked to walk for a mile during their lunch break

Businesses across Scotland have been asked to encourage employees to walk a mile a day - following a scheme started by a Scottish primary school in 2012.

The "daily mile" scheme was pioneered by St Ninian's Primary, Stirling, but has been copied by many other schools.

The exercise is in addition to PE and has been credited with improving the health of pupils.

The Scottish government is now writing to businesses across Scotland inviting them to take part.

Sports Minister Aileen Campbell launched the scheme at the Glasgow headquarters of Scottish Power, which is participating in the scheme.

'More productive'

Ms Campbell said: "Scottish Power has recognised the benefits of encouraging their workforce to be healthier and now we want other workplaces to follow suit.

"We know that being physically active makes employees more productive and less likely to take time off due to sickness or disability."

The minister added that walking a mile should only take about 15 minutes and could be done during a lunch break.

Image caption,
The daily mile initiative was started in a Stirling primary school in 2012

The daily mile was the idea of Elaine Wyllie, then the head teacher of St Ninian's Primary, as a way to improve general fitness after hearing her pupils lacked stamina during a simple warm-up before a PE lesson.

She said: "In doing the daily mile the children learn the importance of taking responsibility for their own health and wellbeing, and it's wonderful to see their parents and relatives rising to the challenge and putting their best foot forwards.

"I'm delighted that Scotland's workplaces will be following in the footsteps of our primary school children to push Scotland towards becoming the world's first daily mile nation."

Keith Anderson, chief corporate officer at Scottish Power, said: "Our occupational health team has been inspired by the success and simplicity of the initiative already adopted by schools and the move to our new headquarters in Glasgow offers the perfect opportunity to encourage over 1,600 employees to think about changing their commuting habits."

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