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Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2010 Jul;89(7):956-61. doi: 10.3109/00016341003792459.

Physical activity during pregnancy in obese and normal-weight women as assessed by pedometer.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Hvidovre Hospital, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.



To compare physical activity as assessed by a pedometer in obese and normal-weight pregnant women at different gestational ages. To evaluate the use of a pedometer in pregnancy.


Cross-sectional study.


Department of obstetrics and gynecology in a university hospital in Copenhagen.


338 pregnant women, 175 normal-weight women with body mass index (BMI) 20-25 kg/m(2) and 163 obese women with BMI > or = 30 kg/m(2).


Physical activity was assessed by a pedometer (Yamax Digiwalker SW-700/701) on seven consecutive days in six different groups: normal-weight or obese at gestational ages 11-13, 18-22, and 36-38, and expressed as median number of daily steps during a whole week, working days, and weekends.


Relation between BMI and physical activity during pregnancy and compliance with wearing the pedometer.


Noncompliance was more frequent in obese than in normal-weight women (19 vs. 10%, p < 0.001). Physical activity was lower in obese women at all gestational ages (6,482, 7,446, 4,626 steps/day in obese vs. 7,558, 8,865, 6,289 steps/day in normal-weight, p < 0.05-0.11). The greatest difference between obese and normal-weight women was seen during weekends. The level of physical activity was higher in both groups at mid-gestation than during earlier and later gestational ages.


Physical activity in pregnant women can be assessed by the pedometer and the method was well accepted by the women; however, the compliance was lower in the obese. The level of physical activity differs between different gestational groups and is lower in obese than in normal-weight women, especially during leisure time.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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