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Pysical Activity Patterns during Pregnancy in a Diverse Population of Women

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-16, 18:39 authored by Schmidt, MD, Pekow, P, Freedson, PS, Markenson, G, Chasan-Taber, L
Background: Participation in physical activity during pregnancy may reduce the risk of gestational diabetes mellitus and preeclampsia and help prevent excess maternal weight gain. However, studies describing patterns and correlates of activity during pregnancy are sparse. The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to describe total physical activity (household/caregiving, occupational, leisure, sports/exercise, and transportation) and correlates of total physical activity in a racially and economically diverse sample of 233 prenatal care patients. Methods: Bilingual interviewers administered three 24-hour physical activity recalls among women in the first trimester (11%), second trimester (36%), and third trimester (53%) of pregnancy. Results: Median total energy expenditure (MET-hours/day) was similar among women in the first and second trimesters (33.4 and 33.8 MET-hours/ day, respectively) and was slightly, but not statistically significantly, lower among women in the third trimester (32.6 MET-hours/ day). Moderate intensity activity followed a similar pattern, being statistically significantly lower among women in the third trimester; vigorous intensity activity was low among women in each trimester of pregnancy. In terms of activity type, household/caregiving activity was the largest contributor to both total and combined moderate and vigorous intensity energy expenditure among women in each trimester, constituting 24%-40% of total energy expenditure. Overall, total energy expenditure was highest in white non-Hispanic women and positively associated with increasing education and a history of previous live births (p < 0.01). Conclusions: Results from this study highlight the importance of including household/caregiving and occupational activities in addition to sports/exercise activities in the assessment of total energy expenditure during pregnancy. © Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.


Publication title

Journal of Women's Health










Menzies Institute for Medical Research


Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Publishers

Place of publication

United States

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Women's and maternal health

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