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Modifiable barriers to leisure-time physical activity during pregnancy: a qualitative study investigating first time mother's views and experiences

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journal contribution
posted on 2015-01-01, 00:00 authored by Megan Connelly, Helen BrownHelen Brown, Paige van der PligtPaige van der Pligt, Megan TeychenneMegan Teychenne
BACKGROUND: Evidence suggests physical activity often declines during pregnancy, however explanations for the decline are not well understood. The aim of this study was to identify modifiable barriers to leisure-time physical activity among women who did not meet physical activity guidelines during pregnancy. METHODS: Analyses were based on data from 133 mothers (~3-months postpartum) who were recruited from the Melbourne InFANT Extend study (2012/2013). Women completed a self-report survey at baseline in which they reported their leisure-time physical activity levels during pregnancy as well provided an open-ended written response regarding the key barriers that they perceived prevented them from meeting the physical activity guidelines during their pregnancy. Thematic analyses were conducted to identify key themes. RESULTS: The qualitative data revealed six themes relating to the barriers of leisure-time physical activity during pregnancy. These included work-related factors (most commonly reported), tiredness, pregnancy-related symptoms, being active but not meeting the guidelines, lack of motivation, and a lack of knowledge of recommendations. CONCLUSION: Considering work-related barriers were suggested to be key factors to preventing women from meeting the physical activity guidelines during pregnancy, workplace interventions aimed at providing time management skills along with supporting physical activity programs for pregnant workers should be considered. Such interventions should also incorporate knowledge and education components, providing advice for undertaking leisure-time physical activity during pregnancy.



BMC pregnancy childbirth






1 - 7


BioMed Central


London, Eng.





Publication classification

C Journal article; C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2015, BioMed Central