International Journal of Exercise Science 12(3): 636-645, 2019. The purpose of this study was to examine the attitudes and beliefs about pregnancy physical activity (PA) in non-pregnant individuals. We hypothesized that younger, more educated, females, those who had ever been pregnant (or partner had been pregnant, for males) and physically active individuals would view pregnancy PA more positively than older individuals, those with less education, males, those who had not ever been pregnant (partner had not been pregnant, for males), and those who are inactive, respectively. Participants were non-pregnant adults ages 20+ years who were recruited by word-of-mouth, social media, and from physician offices. A total of n=698 completed a survey consisting of 27 items in five sections: demographics, PA over prior six months, questions regarding efficacy of PA during pregnancy, importance of exercise for pregnant women, and safety of moderate or vigorous intensity PA. Participants were dichotomized by sex (male; female), PA (meets or does not meet PA Guidelines), education (Bachelor’s degree; no Bachelor’s degree), and prior experience with pregnancy (self/partner had ever been pregnant; self/partner had never been pregnant). Overall, physically active individuals, those with college degrees, and those age 40+ years viewed pregnancy PA more favorably, and non-pregnant females and more educated people believed moderate activity is safe (p<0.05 for all comparisons) compared to males and less educated, respectively. Beliefs and attitudes about pregnancy PA vary by age, sex, education, and PA level. High levels of agreement with statements about benefits from and safety of light and moderate intensity PA were reported. Targeting education and PA promotion related to pregnancy to less educated, inactive, and younger age groups should be encouraged, as well as increasing education in all groups regarding safety of vigorous intensity PA during pregnancy.
Marshall, Mallory R. and Petrella, John K.
"Attitudes and Beliefs Regarding Pregnancy Physical Activity in a Non-pregnant Population,"
International Journal of Exercise Science: Vol. 12
3, Pages 636 - 645.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijes/vol12/iss3/10