Article Title



K.A. Early1, A.A.B. Cruz1, T. Reiss1, F.R. Williams2, C.P. Connolly1

1Washington State University, Pullman, WA; 2Washington State University, Richland, WA

Physical activity during pregnancy is beneficial to both the mother and unborn child. Many complications throughout pregnancy can make it difficult for women to achieve the physical activity (PA) guidelines of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity per week. PURPOSE: This survey-based study examined the relationships between pre-pregnancy PA and also prenatal maternal health with PA behavior during pregnancy. METHODS: An online survey was completed by 266 pregnant participants at prenatal health clinics in the Yakima Valley Washington area. Participants were queried on PA behavior and the mother's physical and mental health during pregnancy. Bivariate correlations and logistic regression analyses were calculated to examine possible relationships between each adverse maternal health condition and PA behavior. RESULTS: The analytic sample was primarily Caucasian (58.3%) or Hispanic (33.8%) and characterized by variable education and income levels. Few participants were high risk (23.0%), had 1 or more adverse pregnancy health condition (19.0%), and reported moderate to severe levels of nausea (13.1%). Over half reported having 1 or more miscarriage (51.3%). Significant correlations were not found between these and current moderate and vigorous PA behavior during pregnancy. However, moderate correlations were found between pre-pregnancy and current PA behavior (meeting PA recommendations: r=0.49, vigorous PA participation: r=0.35). Specifically, pregnant women who participated in vigorous-intensity PA prior to pregnancy, had increased odds of current vigorous PA participation (OR=5.18, 95% CI: 2.94-9.14). Fewer women reported meeting the current moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) recommendations during pregnancy (39.0%) compared with prior to pregnancy (49.2%). Likewise, only 26.8% of participants participated in vigorous intensity PA compared to 43.7% prior to pregnancy. CONCLUSION: Pre-pregnancy PA behavior is a significant predictor of current pregnancy PA. The relationship between several adverse maternal health conditions and pregnancy PA neared statistical significance.

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