International Journal of Exercise Science 14(3): 400-409, 2021. To examine the effectiveness of an online, 12-week exercise intervention on diastasis recti abdominis (DRA) width and negatively associated health outcomes (i.e. weight and core function). Non-pregnant women who were 6-24 months postpartum and ≥ 18 years of age completed the study. Participants (n = 8) were randomized to intervention (exercise) or control groups; with the intervention group completing three exercise sessions per week virtually. Both groups completed three surveys at baseline, 6-weeks, and 12-weeks. DRA width was measured with nylon calipers at baseline and 12-weeks. Repeated measures analysis of covariance examined Group x Time changes in width of DRA, core function, and weight at 12-weeks; effect sizes (i.e. Cohen’s d) were calculated. An alpha level of 0.05 was used to determine statistical significance. There was a significant Group x Time interaction for two DRA width measurement sites, 2 inches above navel (rest) (p = 0.007, d = 0.67) and 2 inches above navel (active) (p = 0.005, d = 0.69). The Group x Time interaction for weight approached significance (p = 0.06), with a small between group effect size (d = 0.23). The Group x Time interaction for core function was not significant (p = 0.83). Exercise interventions delivered in a virtual setting may be effective for decreasing the severity of DRA in postpartum women. Future research should investigate the impact of similar programs on other aspects of postpartum mental and physical health, activities of daily living, and clinical practice.
LaFramboise, Faith C.; Schlaff, Rebecca A.; and Baruth, Meghan
"Postpartum Exercise Intervention Targeting Diastasis Recti Abdominis,"
International Journal of Exercise Science: Vol. 14
3, Pages 400 - 409.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijes/vol14/iss3/6