Skip to main content
Article
An investigation into the exercise behaviours of regionally based Australian pregnant women
Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport (2016)
  • Melanie Hayman, Central Queensland University
  • Camille Short, The University of Adelaide
  • Peter Reaburn, Central Queensland University
Abstract
Objectives

Regular exercise during pregnancy is a recommended prenatal care strategy with short and long-term health benefits to mother and child. Unfortunately, most pregnant women are insufficiently active to obtain health benefits and there is evidence that activity levels decrease overall during pregnancy. Physical activity among regionally based women is lower than that of urban-based women within Australia. However, little is currently known about exercise behaviours of regionally based Australian pregnant women. To successfully promote exercise among regionally based pregnant women, a greater understanding of exercise behaviours must first be explored. This study investigated exercise behaviours in a sample of regionally based Australian pregnant women.

Design

Regionally based Australian pregnant women (= 142) completed a modified version of the Godin Leisure-Time Exercise Questionnaire examining exercise behaviours before and during pregnancy.
Methods
Women self-reported their exercise behaviours, including exercise frequency, intensity, time and type, before and during pregnancy.

Results

Chi-square analysis revealed significantly less (χ2 = 31.66, p < 0.05) women participated in exercise during pregnancy (61%) compared to before pregnancy (87%). During pregnancy, respondents exercised at a significantly lower frequency (χ2 = 111.63, p < 0.05), intensity (χ2 = 67.41, p < 0.05), shorter time/duration (χ2 = 114.33, p < 0.05), and significantly less (χ2 = 8.55, p < 0.05) women (8%) are meeting ‘exercise during pregnancy’ guidelines compared to women before pregnancy (49%) meeting physical activity guidelines.

Conclusions

Exercise during pregnancy decreases to levels significantly lower than what is currently recommended. Public health initiatives that promote exercise among Australian pregnant women should aim to increase frequency, intensity, time and type of exercise to be undertaken during pregnancy.
Keywords
  • Pregnant women,
  • Prenatal care,
  • Physical fitness,
  • Women's health,
  • Guideline adherence
Publication Date
September 26, 2016
DOI
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jsams.2015.09.004
Publisher Statement
Accepted Manuscript

Hayman, M., Short, C., & Reaburn, P. (2016). An investigation into the exercise behaviours of regionally based Australian pregnant women. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 19(8), 664-668. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jsams.2015.09.004

Access the journal

© 2016. Licensed under the Creative Commons 

Citation Information
Melanie Hayman, Camille Short and Peter Reaburn. "An investigation into the exercise behaviours of regionally based Australian pregnant women" Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport Vol. 19 Iss. 8 (2016) p. 664 - 668 ISSN: 1440-2440
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/peter-reaburn/18/
Creative Commons license
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons CC_BY-NC-ND International License.