Running a KM everyday is good for you. All true or Fake News?
As part of our Active School activities every class in the school gets to run every day. Seven laps of our school yard is one kilometre so that is how many laps we try to run daily. A very obvious statement is that running everyday is good for you but the scientists among us recognised that this would be scientifically provable if it were true and so began our investigations
What questions did we ask?
Does running every day make you fitter?
Does running every day make you happier?
Does running every day help you learn?
What did we do?
Firstly we discussed each question to see how we might measure the impact of running. We decided to sub divide Question 1 (Fitter) as it was too broad. As a result we asked the following questions:
(1a)Does running every day make you able to run for longer?
To investigate we tracked what lap each pupil felt they had to stop to take a rest.
(1b)Does running every day make you faster?
One pupil timed how long it took him to complete the seven laps each day.
(1c)By running every day will it feel easier?
We surveyed each pupil every day at the halfway point to see how they were finding the strain of running.
(1d) Will your heart rate rise by a lesser amount and will you be able to recover quicker the more you run?
Using Fitbits we took , resting heart rate beforehand, maximum heart rate while running and then timed how long it took for the heart rate to return to normal.
Question 2 we decided on a scale to measure mood and record it before and after training each day.
Question 3: we decided to test everyone in the class before a run and then test them after a run with the same type of test to see if there was a difference in results.
What did we find out?
In Summary we found out that:
(1a) On average pupils were able to run for longer without stopping the more they ran. (1b) The Speed question was inconclusive but there was evidence that the pupil got faster overall in how long it took him to run 1km. (1c) There was overwhelming evidence that everybody found it easier to run after a couple of weeks. (1d) There was strong evidence that on average the maximum heart rate and the recovery time decreased over the weeks we were investigating.
(Q2) we found out that on average everybody's mood improved after getting out for their daily run.
(Q3) was where there was the most surprising results. Unfortunately on the first set of tests the after run score decreased on average suggesting that running did not help performance in the test. On the second set of tests there was an improved score on average after the test so while inconclusive the researchers were inclined to think that because you were happier you were more likely to perform well so they were still inclined to think that running would help learning.