Navigation Links
Differences among exercisers and nonexercisers during pregnancy

NEW ORLEANSNo one doubts that mothers especially pregnant mothers are among the busiest people on earth. And while the benefits of exercise for these women and their developing fetuses are widely known, many expectant mothers do not exercise. A survey examining daily activities of moms-to-be will soon be released as part of a larger study looking at the effect of maternal exercise on fetal development. The results suggest, among other things, that exercising during pregnancy does not require "stealing" time from other activities.

The study was conducted by Linda E. May, Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences (KCUMB), Kansas City, MO; Alan Glaros, KCUMB, and Kathleen M. Gustafson, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS and is entitled Differences Among Exercisers and Non-Exercisers During Pregnancy. The team will discuss its study at the 122nd Annual Meeting of the American Physiological Society (APS;, which is part of the Experimental Biology 2009 scientific conference. The meeting will be held April 18-22, 2009 in New Orleans.

The Study and Background

Based on previous research findings, over one-third (36 percent) of pregnant moms cite time as the main reason for not participating in regular aerobic exercise. With this in mind, the researchers wanted to determine if women who exercised during pregnancy spent less time doing specific activities in order to have time for exercise and to determine if there were any trends between mothers who exercised during pregnancy and those that do not.

A highly reliable and validated Modifiable Activity Questionnaire (MAQ) was used to survey pregnant mothers. Survey questions pertained to daily activities (i.e., employment, exercise, amount of sleep) and demographics.

Researchers analyzed the results from thirty-eight pregnant mothers (21 exercisers and 17 non-exercisers). All women were healthy, non-smokers between 23 and 39 years of age. The sample population includes women with various education levels, employed in and out of the home, and who live in the Kansas City metro area. Exercisers participated in moderate or vigorous aerobic activity at least 30 minutes three times per week throughout the pregnancy. Control mothers did not.


There were no differences between groups based on maternal age, education levels, employment, number of children, fetal gender, and even maternal height. Although these groups were similar in many ways, there were significant differences between groups and trends as well:

  • Although the most common reason for not exercising during pregnancy is 'lack of time,' 85% of control women spent more than 1 hour at the TV or computer and 77% spent more than 1 hour read/writing/studying.
  • There was a trend for the exercisers to have slightly more sleep and reading time.
  • There was a trend for non-exercisers to have slightly more TV/computer time.
  • BMI and maternal pre-pregnancy weight was significantly lower in the exercisers. Additionally, women with more education had lower BMIs, in general for both groups.
  • For non-exercising pregnant women, employment was a factor in maternal weight and BMI, such that those who were worked outside of the home had lower BMIs.


The researchers theorize that pregnant mothers who exercise may manage their time more effectively than non-exercisers. Because exercisers sleep and read slightly more than non-exercisers and spend slightly less time on the computer, researchers conclude that exercisers are simply more likely to fit exercise into their day. Non-exercisers may suffer from a perception that they lack time to exercise, when they need to manage their time differently to fit more physical activity into their day.

According to Dr. May, "if a pregnant mother does some type of physical activity while watching TV or talking on the phone, or parks her car at the farthest point from the store each time, she will increase her daily physical activity and ultimately improve her health and the health of her baby." Such a small step can provide benefits to mom and the fetus, and take no extra time from the daily routine."


Contact: Donna Krupa
American Physiological Society

Related biology news :

1. Differences in neighborhood food environment may contribute to disparities in obesity
2. Genetic differences between yeasts greater than those between humans and chimpanzees
3. Study identifies genetic variants giving rise to differences in metabolism
4. Study sheds light on genetic differences that cause a childhood eye disease
5. Researchers note differences between people and animals on calorie restriction
6. Defining DNA differences to track and tackle typhoid
7. Negligent, attentive mouse mothers show biological differences
8. Sex differences in the brains serotonin system
9. Tiny genetic differences have huge consequences: McGill researchers
10. Worms take the sniff test to reveal sex differences in brain
11. Analysis of breast and colon cancer genes finds many areas of differences between tumors
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/12/2015)... 2015   Growing need for low-cost, easy ... been paving the way for use of biochemical ... analytes in clinical, agricultural, environmental, food and defense ... in medical applications, however, their adoption is increasing ... continuous emphasis on improving product quality and growing ...
(Date:11/10/2015)... , Nov. 10, 2015 ... biometrics that helps to identify and verify the ... is considered as the secure and accurate method ... of a particular individual because each individual,s signature ... results especially when dynamic signature of an individual ...
(Date:11/4/2015)... , November 4, 2015 ... market report published by Transparency Market Research "Home Security Solutions ... and Forecast 2015 - 2022", the global home security solutions ... bn by 2022. The market is estimated to expand ... from 2015 to 2022. Rising security needs among customers ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/27/2015)... PUNE, India , November 27, 2015 ... --> Growing popularity of companion ... emerging in cancer biomarkers market with pharmaceutical ... develop in-demand companion diagnostic tests. ... --> Complete report on global ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... -- 2 nouvelles études permettent d , ... entre les souches bactériennes retrouvées dans la plaque ... . Ces recherches  ouvrent une nouvelle voie ... efficace de l,un des problèmes de santé les ...    --> 2 nouvelles études permettent d ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... A ... Black Aerospace Professionals (OPBAP) has been formalized with the signing of a Memorandum ... met with OPBAP leaders Capt. Karl Minter and Capt. Albert Glenn Tuesday, November ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... ... The United States Golf Association (USGA) today announced Dr. Bruce Clarke, of ... since 1961, the USGA Green Section Award recognizes an individual’s distinguished service to the ... of Iselin, N.J., is an extension specialist of turfgrass pathology in the department of ...
Breaking Biology Technology: