Pregnant women’s attitudes to physical activity

What are the attitudes, barriers and enablers to physical activity perceived by pregnant women?

Physical activity has substantial benefits for women with uncomplicated pregnancies, has minimal risks and is recommended in pregnancy guidelines.

The benefits of physical activity during pregnancy include: improved physical fitness, reduced risk of excessive weight gain, reduced risk of preeclampsia and pre-term birth, reduced low back pain improved sleep, reduced anxiety, less risk of depressive symptoms, and improved health perception and self-reported body image. On top of that, exercise during pregnancy can have additional benefits for women with comorbidities such as gestational diabetes.

Despite these benefits, more than 60% of pregnant women do not participate in physical activity as recommended.

Behaviour change techniques are known to bring about behaviour change in this population.

The new results from this study can help direct those behaviour change technqiues towards issues that have now been clearly identified as key enablers or barriers to exercise during pregnancy.

> From: Harrison et al., J Physiother 64 (2018-02-09 08:01:35) 24-32 . All rights reserved to the Australian Physiotherapy Association. Click here for the online summary.

Want to read deeper into this topic? Have a look at the free full text version of this article published in Journal of Physiotherapy!

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