African Journal for Physical Activity and Health Sciences

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Patterns and predictors of physical activity among pregnant women in northeast Nigeria

Aliyu Lawan, Wasiu A. Awotidebe, Adewale L. Oyeyemi, Adetoyeje Y. Oyeyemi


The patterns and predictors of physical activity (PA) in pregnant women is poorly understood. This study described the patterns of physical activity (PA) in specific domains (home, occupation, transport and exercise/sport) and intensities (light, moderate and vigorous), and determined the factors associated with achieving sufficient level of PA among Nigerian pregnant women. A cross sectional survey was conducted among 389 pregnant women attending an antenatal clinic in a regional teaching hospital in Maiduguri, North-East Nigeria. A self-reported physical activity was assessed using the Pregnancy Physical Activity Questionnaire and anthropometric measurements of height, weight, waist and hip circumferences were determinedaccording to the standards of the International Society for the Advancement of Kinanthropometry (ISAK). Participants’ physical, anthropometric and socio-demographic characteristics and pattern of PA were summarized using descriptive statistics. Logistic regression analyses were used to determine the factors that predicted sufficient PA among the pregnant women. Light intensity (86.71±64.10 min/wk or 57.37%) and household activity (82.95±78.46 min/wk or 54.62%) were the most reported PA by the pregnant women while vigorous (1.50±4.93 min/wk) and exercise/sport (4.66±9.15 min/wk) were the least reported PA respectively. Business women (β =1.109), number of children (β =2.284) and WH ratio (β =-14.09) were the factors associated with achieving sufficient PA. The findings suggest that central obesity measured by Waist Hip (WH) ratio may limit participation in sufficient PA. In conclusion, activities that are mandatory to daily living such as domestic and occupational activities may be the most viable option for achieving sufficient level of PA among pregnant women in northeast Nigeria.

Keywords: Physical inactivity, pregnancy, exercise, Africa

AJOL African Journals Online