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Cover page of the Journal of Health Sciences
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 221-225

How physically active are women in the third trimester of pregnancy? A cross-sectional study of physical activity in pregnancy and its outcomes among women delivering at a rural maternity hospital in South India

Department of Community Health, St. John's Medical College, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Avita Rose Johnson
Department of Community Health, St. John's Medical College, Bengaluru, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/kleuhsj.kleuhsj_147_20

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Background: Physical activity influences perinatal outcomes. Moderate-intensity aerobic activity of 150 min/week during pregnancy is recommended. Objective: This study aimed at assessing the physical activity levels during pregnancy and determining the factors associated with physical activity among rural women. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study conducted in a rural maternity hospital, in a village in Ramanagara district located in the south of Karnataka among pregnant women >29 weeks of gestation and newly delivered mothers availing obstetric services at the hospital. A structured questionnaire with sociodemographic characteristics, pregnancy details, and neonate details was used. International Physical Activity Questionnaire Short Form was used for measuring physical activity. Physical activity was classified as low, moderate, and high intensity by calculating metabolic equivalent minutes per week based on the Compendium of Physical Activities. Results: Among the 158 study participants, 113 were antenatal women and 45 had just delivered. The mean age of the study participants was 23.31 ± 3.14 years and the mean weight gain per week was 0.35 ± 0.11 kg. About 96% of the subjects had high-intensity physical activity while 4% had moderate-intensity physical activity. Women from nuclear families and older mothers had significantly high physical activity. Women with high-intensity physical activity were significantly more likely to deliver a low birth weight baby in the early neonatal period. Conclusion: Being a rural area, majority of the pregnant mothers had high-intensity level of physical activity, which was significantly associated with lower birth weight among neonates. It is recommended to avoid high-intensity physical activity during pregnancy and focus advice on moderate physical activity for pregnant women.

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