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Article Title

RELATIONSHIPS AMONG OCCUPATIONAL CHARACTERISTICS, SOCIAL ISOLATION AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AMONG PREGNANT WOMEN

Abstract

A. A.B. Cruz, C.P. Connolly

Washington State University, Pullman, WA

Low levels of physical activity (PA) and high levels of loneliness are common during pregnancy. Certain occupational characteristics appear related to both among non-pregnant populations. However, these have not been examined extensively among pregnant women. PURPOSE: To examine how occupational characteristics (maternity leave, hours worked and occupation type) relate to feelings of loneliness, social isolation, and PA behavior during pregnancy. METHODS: Study investigators administered a questionnaire that included questions on occupation, past and current PA behavior, feelings of loneliness and perceived quality of social network, and demographics. Pregnant women (N=295) were recruited at OBGYN clinics in the Yakima Valley, Washington area during summer and fall 2019. Bivariate correlations and logistic regression allowed for the examination of potential relationships among occupational characteristics, PA behavior, feelings of loneliness, and high contact social roles. A one-way ANOVA with Bonferroni and Tukey HSD corrections were run to examine potential differences in PA behavior by occupation type. RESULTS: Participants reported working 35.82 hours per week (± 10.52) with homemakers commonly reporting higher work hours. Over 55% of participants reported having a job, while 5.0% reported having no job and 21.3% reported being a homemaker. Over a third (38.9%) met current MVPA recommendations. No significant differences were found among occupation type (work, no work or homemaker) for current VPA (p=.079) or current MVPA (p=.985). Number of hours worked/week was inversely related to participants meeting current MVPA recommendations (r= -.171, p=.030) and feelings of loneliness (r= -.177, p=.030). Maternity leave was associated with having a greater number of high contact social roles within one’s social network (r=.157, p=.012). Number of social roles was associated with current MVPA participation (r=.133, p=.022) and meeting MVPA recommendations (r=.121, p=.038), but inversely related to feelings of loneliness (r= -.355, p=0.001). CONCLUSION: Occupational work hours and characteristics appear related to less PA and positive social health. Further analyses are needed to understand the impact of additional occupational indicators on physical and social health during pregnancy.

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