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The effectiveness of physical activity as a weight control measure in pregnancy

Author: 
Madume A. K. and Kua P. L.
Subject Area: 
Health Sciences
Abstract: 

Gestational weight gain (GWG) is usually defined as a change in maternal weights measured before pregnancy and prior to delivery, which is crucial to fetal growth and subsequent breastfeeding. Both excessive and inadequate GWG affect maternal and offspring health. Exercise contributes significantly to maternal and fetal wellbeing during pregnancy. This study probed the effectiveness of supervised, planned physical activity (aerobics) on maternal weight in pregnancy. Sixty-Four pregnantwomen who completed the study were simply randomized into experimental (n=38) with age range 25-43years and control (n=26) with age range 19-41years. Their pre-intervention weight measurements were taken and recorded and a 10-week, three times weekly aerobic exercise (40-45 minutes duration each session) training administered on the experimental group only. Post-intervention values were taken from all participants and data summarized using mean and standard deviation. Analysis of covariance was used to test the efficacy at 0.05 alpha level. The result revealed that the pretest experimental group mean value was 73.16+9.67with a mean difference of -4.28. The post intervention mean score was expectedly higher at 76.37+9.95 with a mean difference of -7.78. It follows that the aerobic exercise impacted the weight of the pregnant women. Also, being in the negative, showed that there was a reduction in the body weight of the experimental group as compared to the control group. It was concluded that the aerobic exercise was effective in moderating maternal weight gain in pregnancy and is an effective strategy in maternal weight maintenance.

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