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Am J Prev Med. 2012 Oct;43(4):434-9.

Physical activity of pregnant Hispanic women.

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Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, School of Public Health and Health Sciences, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003, USA.



A growing body of evidence suggests that physical activity during pregnancy can reduce risk of pregnancy complications. However, factors influencing activity in pregnant Hispanic women, who have high rates of sedentary activity as compared to non-Hispanic whites, are not well characterized.


To assess patterns and correlates of physical activity among 1355 participants in Proyecto Buena Salud, a prospective cohort of pregnant Hispanic women in Massachusetts from 2006 to 2011.


Analyses were conducted in 2012. Pre-, early-, mid-, and late-pregnancy physical activity were assessed using the Pregnancy Physical Activity Questionnaire. Women reported the frequency and duration of household/caregiving, occupational, sports/exercise, and transportation activities and were classified according to compliance with American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists guidelines for physical activity.


Household/caregiving activity was the primary mode of pregnancy activity ranging from 56% to 60% of total activity while sports/exercise contributed the least (<10%). Compared to nulliparous women, women with two or more children were 85% less likely to become inactive at any time during pregnancy (OR=0.15, 95% CI=0.04, 0.56, p-trend <0.01). Women with one or more children increased their total physical activity on average 9.73±2.04 MET-hours/week and 12.04±2.39 MET-hours/week, respectively, with the onset of pregnancy (p<0.01). Those with the highest levels of total physical activity prior to pregnancy were 87% less likely to become inactive with the onset of pregnancy than those who were inactive prior to pregnancy (OR=0.13, 95% CI= 0.05, 0.29).


Findings can inform culturally appropriate interventions designed to reduce pregnancy complications through the promotion of physical activity during pregnancy.

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