Navigation Links
Guidelines urge physical activity during pregnancy

EAST LANSING, Mich. Moderate physical activity during pregnancy does not contribute to low birth weight, premature birth or miscarriage and may actually reduce the risk of complications, according to a Michigan State University professor who contributed to the U.S. government's first-ever guidelines on physical activity.

Kinesiology professor James Pivarnik and doctoral students Lanay Mudd and Erin Kuffel wrote the section on pregnancy and postpartum activity as part of the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines unveiled Oct. 7 in Washington, D.C., by the Department of Health and Human Services. Pivarnik, president-elect of the American College of Sports Medicine, attended the event and spoke on behalf of the organization and MSU.

"There has been quite a dramatic change in regards to pregnancy and exercise," said Pivarnik, who has studied the topic for more than 20 years. "While it used to be thought that avoiding exercise meant avoiding harm to the fetus, research now shows physical activity can not only improve health of the mother but also provide potential long-term benefits for the child."

Specifically, the guidelines call for women to get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week during pregnancy and the postpartum period, preferably spread throughout the week. In addition to health benefits, moderate physical activity also may reduce the length of labor, evidence suggests. The guidelines call for women to avoid doing activities that involve lying on their back after the first trimester and activities with high risk of falling or abdominal trauma.

During the postpartum period, regular physical activity continues to benefit a woman's overall health, according to Pivarnik's research, by increasing her cardiorespiratory fitness and improving her mood. Physical activity after pregnancy also helps women achieve and maintain a healthy weight, and when combined with appropriate caloric restriction, promotes weight loss.

"In the time I have been performing research on exercise during pregnancy, we have shifted from cautious conservatism to the current guidelines, which encourage women to be active throughout gestation," Pivarnik said.

Also as part of the new guidelines, the government recommends 150 minutes of activity for adults per week. The move toward measuring recommended exercise by overall minutes as opposed to specific time and frequency requirements mirrors research recently published by Mudd, Pivarnik, Mathew Reeves from MSU's Department of Epidemiology, and Ann Rafferty from the Michigan Department of Community Health.

That study, published this month in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, used a broader approach toward calculating compliance with exercise requirements and found when measured by the amount of energy expended, the number of respondents who met guidelines was significantly higher.

"We found that by following the letter of the law many people who may be getting enough physical activity were not being counted," Mudd said. "But we still have a majority of people who are inactive or are not active enough.

"The new guidelines can help shape people's behaviors and get them on the right track to being healthy," she added. "They allow individuals more flexibility in how and when to perform their activities."


Contact: Jason Cody
Michigan State University

Related biology news :

1. UNC study questions FDA genetic-screening guidelines for cancer drug
2. 2 carotid artery stenting studies show results comparable to AHA guidelines
3. Simple screening questionnaire for kidney disease outperforms current clinical practice guidelines
4. NHLBI issues first US von Willebrand Disease clinical practice guidelines
5. New guidelines for treating rheumatoid arthritis
6. Study finds ATV guidelines inadequate
7. Severely restricted diet linked to physical fitness into old age
8. Media highlights in the November issues of Biophysical Journal
9. Roger Kornberg to present lecture at the Joint Biophysical Society/IUPAB Meeting
10. Media highlights in the Dec. 15 issue of Biophysical Journal
11. Biophysical Society announces 2008 International Travel Awards
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/29/2015)... 2015 Today, LifeBEAM , a ... 2XU, a global leader in technical performance sports ... with advanced bio-sensing technology. The hat will allow ... key biometrics to improve overall training performance. As ... will bring together the most advanced technology, extensive ...
(Date:10/26/2015)... , October 26, 2015 ... --> adds Biometrics Market ... 2021 as well as Emerging Biometrics ... reports to its collection of IT ... . --> ...
(Date:10/23/2015)... GOLETA, California , October 23, 2015 ... and SensoMotoric Instruments (SMI) announce a mobile plug and ... captured during interactive real-world tasks SensoMotoric Instruments ... of their established wearable solutions for eye tracking and ... behavior captured with SMI Eye Tracking Glasses 2w ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... LEXINGTON, Massachusetts , November 24, 2015 ... Officer, will participate in the Piper Jaffray 27 th Annual ... on Tuesday, December 1, 2015, at 8:30 a.m. EST (1:30 p.m. ... Poulton , Chief Financial Officer, will participate in the Piper Jaffray ... City , NY on Tuesday, December 1, 2015, at 8:30 ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... AVIV, Israel , Nov. 24, 2015  Tikcro Technologies Ltd. (OTCQB: ... held on December 29, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. Israel ... Co., Electra Tower, 98 Yigal Allon Street, 36 th Floor, ... election of Eric Paneth and Izhak Tamir to ... and Rami Skaliter as external directors; , approval of an amendment ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Nov. 24, 2015  Twist Bioscience, a company ... Leproust, Ph.D., Twist Bioscience chief executive officer, will ... on December 1, 2015 at 3:10 p.m. Eastern ... City. --> --> ... Twist Bioscience is on Twitter. Sign up to ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Schlieren, Switzerland (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... more organotypic 3D cell culture models, has promoted Melanie Aregger to serve as Chief ... Manager, Ms. Aregger served on the management team and was promoted to ...
Breaking Biology Technology: