Prevalence, Trends, and Correlates of Physical Activity During Pregnancy

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Pregnancy may trigger the development of obesity through the retention of gestational weight gain via decreased physical activity and increased food intake.  In the absence of medical and obstetric complications, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) recommends physical activity for pregnant women.  However, US population data on the prevalence, trends, and correlates of physical activity among pregnant women are lacking.

PROJECT OBJECTIVES

We propose to use the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data for the period from 1999-2006 to obtain population data on the prevalence, trends, and correlates of physical activity among pregnant women.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

NHANES is a population based sample of US adults and includes more than 1000 pregnant women at different gestational ages, with a pregnancy confirmed by urinalysis, and self-reported data about the frequency, intensity, duration, and type of physical activity currently being performed.  Additionally, for a subset of women participating in the 2003-2006 examination, one week of accelerometer data is available, providing an objective measure of physical activity.  Our proposed study has three overarching goals.  First, we will describe the overall prevalence in self-reported and objectively measured physical activity among pregnant women.  Second, we will describe the time trends in self-reported physical activity among pregnant women.  Third, we will examine the correlates of self-reported and objectively measured physical activity among pregnant women.  The existing NHANES data provide a unique and cost effective way to track physical activity in pregnant women over time for surveillance purposes.  In addition, our study can inform interventions designed to promote physical activity during pregnancy, with long-term goals of preventing overweight and obesity often triggered during pregnancy, as well as later sequelae such as cardiovascular disease.

FUNDING

  • American Heart Association (AHA), July 1, 2008- June 30, 2011

KEY CONTACTS

Principal Investigator: Kelly Evinson, MS
kelly_evenson@unc.edu