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Can J Appl Physiol. 2003 Aug;28(4):642-53.

Activity patterns during pregnancy.

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School of Kinesiology, Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, The University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario N6A 3K7, Canada.


The purpose of this study was to investigate determinants of the activity patterns of women prior to pregnancy and factors associated with quitting activities during pregnancy.


These data arose from a study designed to look at the impact of exercise in pregnancy on birth weight (Campbell and Mottola, 2001). This secondary analysis explored relationships between subject characteristics and exercise patterns via a self-completed questionnaire. Univariable and multivariable odds ratios were estimated using logistic regression. Multivariable models used backward stepwise variable selection.


A total of 853 women agreed to participate and 529 women (62%) returned completed questionnaires. Of these, 369 (70%) and 258 (49%) engaged in a structured exercise program before pregnancy and in Trimester 3, respectively. Factors associated with engaging in regular structured exercise prior to pregnancy included: postsecondary education (OR = 1.50; 0.98, 2.30), no children (OR = 2.44; 1.56, 3.82), nonsmoker (OR = 1.84; 1.18, 2.88), and involvement in regular recreational activities (OR = 3.07; 1.81, 5.20). During pregnancy, all categories of activity decreased except walking, which increased by Trimester 3. Factors associated with quitting a regular structured exercise program by Trimester 3 were: having children (OR = 1.67; 1.05, 2.67), a prepregnancy BMI of 25 (OR = 1.79; 1.04, 3.13), and higher weight gain.


Community programs that encourage active living should address these factors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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