Examining Beliefs, Behaviors, and Provider Counseling on Physical Activity During Pregnancy: A Cross-Sectional Study in the Southern United States


DOI: 10.62858/apphZ6Ir1Amf

Volume/Issue :
Volume 38
Issue 1
(04 - 2024)

Author(s) :

Christiana Rebelle, PhD, Shannon L Jette, PhD, John Michael Mills, BS, Rachel A Tinius, PhD.

Abstract :

Physical inactivity, obesity, and chronic disease rates are high among pregnant women in the Southern United States. This study aimed to understand the beliefs and behaviors of women in the South regarding physical activity (PA) during pregnancy and whether provider counseling was associated with these beliefs and behaviors. The study included 292 women from the South who completed an online survey, providing sociodemographic data and recalling their health beliefs and PA during pregnancy. Descriptive statistics and correlation analyses were used to describe and assess the relationships between variables. The study found that feeling tired and lacking motivation were common barriers to PA, while improved health was the main benefit. The participants felt most susceptible to anxiety and depression. Providers were the primary source of support for PA, but provider counseling was not significantly correlated with increased PA. Participants engaged mostly in light household and caregiving activities. Sociodemographic factors had a stronger association with beliefs and behaviors than provider counseling. The study suggests that provider counseling should be enhanced with established techniques such as motivational interviewing to support PA.