Study finds most pregnant women don't exercise enough

April 23, 2010

Most women don't exercise enough during pregnancy to meet expert recommendations.

Preventive Medicine. 2010;50:123-128. [March 2010]

Most women do not exercise enough during pregnancy to meet expert recommendations, according to researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Investigators analyzed interview data from 1,280 pregnant women (aged 16 years or older) collected from 1999 to 2006 for the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. An analysis of the women's level of physical activity found that only 22.8 percent of the respondents reported some type of transportation activity (such as walking or biking to and from work) during the month prior to the survey; 56.6 percent reported moderate to vigorous leisure activity, and 54.3 percent reported moderate to vigorous household activity. Moderate to vigorous leisure activity was higher in the first versus the third trimester, among those with health insurance, and among non-Hispanic white women than their counterparts from other racial/ethnic groups, the researchers found.