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:6/22/2016)... American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics was once again ... of the fastest-growing trade shows during the Fastest 50 Awards ... Las Vegas . Winners are ... of the following categories: net square feet of paid exhibit ... 2015 ACMG Annual Meeting was ranked 23 out of 50 ...
(Date:6/20/2016)... , June 20, 2016 Securus ... justice technology solutions for public safety, investigation, corrections ... the prisons involved, it has secured the final ... (DOC) facilities for Managed Access Systems (MAS) installed. ... additional facilities to be installed by October, 2016. ...
(Date:6/9/2016)... -- Paris Police Prefecture ... to ensure the safety of people and operations in several ... tournament Teleste, an international technology group specialised in ... that its video security solution will be utilised by ... safety across the country. The system roll-out is scheduled for ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)...  The Biodesign Challenge (BDC), a university competition that ... living systems and biotechnology, announced its winning teams at ... New York City . The teams, ... at MoMA,s Celeste Bartos Theater during the daylong summit. ... curator of architecture and design, and Suzanne Lee ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... ... STACS DNA Inc., the sample tracking software company, today announced that Dr. ... STACS DNA as a Field Application Specialist. , “I am thrilled that Dr. ... STACS DNA. “In further expanding our capacity as a scientific integrator, Hays brings a ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016  Blueprint Bio, a company dedicated ... the medical community, has closed its Series A funding ... . "We have received a commitment from ... we need to meet our current goals," stated ... the runway to complete validation on the current projects ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ClinCapture, the only ... Center and will showcase its product’s latest features from June 26 to June ... scientific poster on Disrupting Clinical Trials in The Cloud during the conference. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: