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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 191-196

Barriers to physical activity during pregnancy among Saudi population on the Western region

1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, College of Medicine, Taif University, Taif, Saudi Arabia
2 Medical Intern, College of Medicine, Taif University, Taif, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Shatha Hallal Al-Ziyadi
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Taif University, Taif
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/sjhs.sjhs_66_21

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Background: Physical inactivity and sedentary lifestyles among pregnant women have shown significant health risks that threaten the life of the mother and the child. Aim: This study aimed to assess the prevalence and barriers to regular physical activity (PA) during pregnancy among Saudi women in the western region. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was done with 463 pregnant women using the Pregnant Physical Activity Questionnaire. A standardized questionnaire was used to collect the demographic details and information about the PA before and during pregnancy, work-related barriers, pregnancy-related barriers, and other barriers. Results: Only 22.9% of the participants engaged in PA during pregnancy, and not having enough time and intense exhaustion from work were the most common work-related reasons for not exercising during pregnancy. The most reported barriers to PA related to pregnancy were fear of injuring the fetus, feeling sick in the morning, muscle and joint pain, feeling exhausted after exercise, and lack of motivation. Younger pregnant women (<20 years of age) and those who participated in a certain form of PA before pregnancy were comparatively more engaged in PA during pregnancy (P < 0.05). Conclusion: The PA during pregnancy, as reported by the participants, was poor and the most commonly reported barrier to do PA among pregnant women was fear of injuring the fetus. Pregnant women should receive appropriate prenatal advice on the benefits of PA, and they should be made aware of the significance of PA in the promotion of healthy lifestyle practices.

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