Document Type


Degree Name



Oregon Health & Science University



Moderate-­‐to-­‐vigorous physical activity (MVPA) of ≥ 30 minutes/day at least 4 days/week is recommended during pregnancy to promote appropriate gestational weight gain (GWG). Only about 15% of all women in the United States meet this recommendation during pregnancy. Weight gain during pregnancy and return to pre-­‐ pregnancy weight are important predictors of maternal and fetal health outcomes.


Physical activity (PA) was measured in 28 pregnant women using Actigraph accelerometers worn on the right hip during waking hours for 7 consecutive days each trimester and at three-­‐months postpartum. Wear-­‐time compliance was defined as ≥ 6 hours/day for ≥ 4 days in each 7-­‐day period. Women were characterized as normal weight (NW) or overweight (OW) based on pre-­‐pregnancy BMI, and as meeting or exceeding GWG recommendations. Odds ratios and t-­‐tests were used to estimate the relationships between pre-­‐pregnancy weight status and PA level and PA level and GWG.


MVPA declined with duration of gestation, NW women spent 43 ± 19 (5.7%), 33 ± 17 (4.2%), and 30 ± 20 (3.8%) minutes/day performing MVPA during the first, second, and third trimester, respectively; OW women spent 26 ± 14 (3.3%), 22 ± 14 (2.9%), and 20 ± 15 (2.5%) minutes/day performing MVPA during the first, second, and third trimester, respectively. Percent time performing MVPA was significantly lower in OW than NW women during the first trimester (62%, CI:41.7-­‐92.5%, p=0.02). During the first trimester, NW woman were 6.0 times (CI:1.11-­‐32.6, p=0.03) more likely to meet PA recommendations than OW women. Women who met PA recommendations during any trimester of pregnancy were not more likely to meet GWG recommendations than those who did not. At three-­‐months postpartum, of total accelerometer wear-­‐time, NW women spent 3.7% performing MVPA; OW women spent 1.9% performing MVPA. Women who performed more minutes/day of MVPA did not lose more weight (as a % of weight gain during pregnancy) at three-­‐months postpartum, regardless of pre-­‐ pregnancy weight status. Conclusions Women who met the PA recommendation were not more likely to gain appropriate weight or lose more weight by three-­‐months postpartum. However, because of our small sample size, this conclusion needs to be interpreted with caution. Instead, we support the recommendation to design, implement and test more effective interventions to increase PA during pregnancy and postpartum to support healthy maternal and infant outcomes in both the short-­‐ and long-­‐term.




Graduate Programs in Human Nutrition


School of Medicine



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