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Health Promot J Austr. 2007 Aug;18(2):155-8.

A brief report of attitudes towards physical activity during pregnancy.

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School of Health and Human Sciences, Southern Cross University, Lismore, New South Wales.



An exploratory study was undertaken to discover women's issues on the importance of physical activity during pregnancy. The authors were interested in exploring the topic with women from different cultural groups as well as with Anglo-Saxon women. Indigenous women and women from Pacific Island background were selected because of their high rates of gestational diabetes (the most common complication of pregnancy), of which physical inactivity is a risk factor.


Four focus groups of two to five members were held to explore women's opinions about physical activity during pregnancy. Two specific cultural focus groups were organised with women of Western Samoan background and Indigenous women. The other two groups included women from the broader community.


The women were concerned that they had not received enough information from various health agencies and agents during pregnancy. The women identified several benefits and barriers to physical activity when they were pregnant and explained how they felt about physical activity when pregnant. There were minimal differences between cultural groups in the women's voiced opinions.


The themes derived from focus groups provide a snapshot of women's attitudes towards pregnancy and physical activity. Few women had a clear understanding of how physical activity should be incorporated in the gestational lifestyle period.

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