Document Type : Original Article


Department of Midwifery, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran


Background: Physical activity generally declines during pregnancy, but activity barriers during
this period are not well understood. The objective was to determine physical activity and some
relative factors in referred pregnant women. Materials and Methods: This cross‑sectional
study was carried on 384 in referred pregnant women to Isfahan Health Care Centers and
Shahid Beheshti Hospital in second stage sampling method in 2013. Demographic/prenatal
characteristics, physical activity (36Q) and prenatal life quality questionnaire (26Q) were
completed by participants. The statistical analysis was performed with various statistical tests
such as the t‑test, one‑way ANOVA, individual correlation coefficient, and linear regression
using SPSS statistical software (version 16). Results: Based on the findings, 98.7% (n = 378)
of pregnant women had low physical activity. Also, there were a correlation among physical
activity and parity, age, gestational age (P ≤ 0.005). Conclusion: Since physical activity is
recommended for the most of pregnant women, it is imperative to promote physical activity
between pregnant women and some intervention suggestions.


1. Wilson K. Exercise effects on physical activity level, self‑perception,
and quality of life of sedentary children, the interaction of BMI, and
the association between moderate to vigorous physical activity and
psychological variables. [Dissertation]. East Carolina University;
2. Schlüssel MM, Souza EB, Reichenheim ME, Kac G. Physical activity
during pregnancy and maternal‑child health outcomes: A systematic
literature review. Cad Saude Publica 2008;24 Suppl 4:s531‑44.
3. Borodulin KM, Evenson KR, Wen F, Herring AH, Benson AM.
Physical activity patterns during pregnancy. BMC Womens Health
4. Butler CL, Williams MA, Sorensen TK, Frederick IO, Leisenring WM.
Relation between maternal recreational physical activity and plasma
lipids in early pregnancy. Am J Epidemiol 2004;160:350‑9.
5. Downs DS, Chasan‑Taber L, Evenson KR, Leiferman J, Yeo S.
Physical activity and pregnancy: Past and present evidence and
future recommendations. Res Q Exerc Sport 2012;83:485‑502.
6. Domingues MR, Barros AJ. Leisure‑time physical activity during
pregnancy in the 2004 Pelotas Birth Cohort Study. Rev Saude
Publica 2007;41:173‑80.
7. Weir Z, Bush J, Robson SC, McParlin C, Rankin J, Bell R. Physical
activity in pregnancy: A qualitative study of the beliefs of overweight
and obese pregnant women. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth 2010;10:18.
8. Leiferman J, Swibas T, Koiness K, Marshall JA, Dunn AL. My baby,
my move: Examination of perceived barriers and motivating factors
related to antenatal physical activity. J Midwifery Womens Health
9. Evenson KR, Moos MK, Carrier K, Siega‑Riz AM. Perceived barriers
to physical activity among pregnant women. Matern Child Health J
10. Chasan‑Taber L, Schmidt MD, Pekow P, Sternfeld B, Manson J,
Markenson G. Correlates of physical activity in pregnancy among
Latina women. Matern Child Health J 2007;11:353‑63.
11. Schmidt MD, Pekow P, Freedson PS, Markenson G, Chasan‑Taber L.
Physical activity patterns during pregnancy in a diverse population
of women. J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2006;15:909‑18.
12. Donahue SM, Zimmerman FJ, Starr JR, Holt VL. Correlates of
pre‑pregnancy physical inactivity: Results from the pregnancy
risk assessment monitoring system. Matern Child Health J
13. Almeida F. The Relationship Between Social Networks, Social
Support, Physical Activity and Self‑rated Health: An Exploratory
Study. [Dissertation]. University of Denver; 2008.
14. Chasan‑Taber L, Schmidt MD, Roberts DE, Hosmer D,
Markenson G, Freedson PS. Development and validation of a
Pregnancy Physical Activity Questionnaire. Med Sci Sports Exerc
15. Ota E, Haruna M, Yanai H, Suzuki M, Anh DD, Matsuzaki M, et al.
Reliability and validity of the Vietnamese version of the Pregnancy
Physical Activity Questionnaire (PPAQ). Southeast Asian J Trop
Med Public Health 2008;39:562‑70.
16. Fell DB, Joseph KS, Armson BA, Dodds L. The impact of pregnancy
on physical activity level. Matern Child Health J 2009;13:597‑603.
17. Smith SA, Michel Y. A pilot study on the effects of aquatic exercises
on discomforts of pregnancy. J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs
18. Pereira MA, Rifas‑Shiman SL, Kleinman KP, Rich‑Edwards JW,
Peterson KE, Gillman MW. Predictors of change in physical
activity during and after pregnancy: Project Viva. Am J Prev Med
19. Lynch KE, Landsbaugh JR, Whitcomb BW, Pekow P, Markenson G,
Chasan‑Taber L. Physical activity of pregnant Hispanic women. Am
J Prev Med 2012;43:434‑9.
20. Mudd LM, Nechuta S, Pivarnik JM, Paneth N, Michigan Alliance
for National Children’s Study. Factors associated with women’s
perceptions of physical activity safety during pregnancy. Prev Med
21. Hinton PS, Olson CM. Predictors of pregnancy‑associated change
in physical activity in a rural white population. Matern Child Health
J 2001;5:7‑14.
22. Hegaard HK, Kjaergaard H, Damm PP, Petersson K, Dykes AK.
Experiences of physical activity during pregnancy in Danish
nulliparous women with a physically active life before pregnancy.
A qualitative study. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth 2010;10:33.
23. Marshall ES, Bland H, Melton B. Perceived barriers to physical
activity among pregnant women living in a rural community. Public
Health Nurs 2013;30:361‑9.
24. Esmaelzadeh S, Taavaoni S, Ahmadi Z, Haghani H. Trend of exercise
before, during and after pregnancy. Iran J Nurs 2008;21:135‑41.