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1.  Agreement between pedometer and accelerometer in measuring physical activity in overweight and obese pregnant women 
BMC Public Health  2011;11:501.
Background
Inexpensive, reliable objective methods are needed to measure physical activity (PA) in large scale trials. This study compared the number of pedometer step counts with accelerometer data in pregnant women in free-living conditions to assess agreement between these measures.
Methods
Pregnant women (n = 58) with body mass index ≥25 kg/m2 at median 13 weeks' gestation wore a GT1M Actigraph accelerometer and a Yamax Digi-Walker CW-701 pedometer for four consecutive days. The Spearman rank correlation coefficients were determined between pedometer step counts and various accelerometer measures of PA. Total agreement between accelerometer and pedometer step counts was evaluated by determining the 95% limits of agreement estimated using a regression-based method. Agreement between the monitors in categorising participants as active or inactive was assessed by determining Kappa.
Results
Pedometer step counts correlated moderately (r = 0.36 to 0.54) with most accelerometer measures of PA. Overall step counts recorded by the pedometer and the accelerometer were not significantly different (medians 5961 vs. 5687 steps/day, p = 0.37). However, the 95% limits of agreement ranged from -2690 to 2656 steps/day for the mean step count value (6026 steps/day) and changed substantially over the range of values. Agreement between the monitors in categorising participants to active and inactive varied from moderate to good depending on the criteria adopted.
Conclusions
Despite statistically significant correlations and similar median step counts, the overall agreement between pedometer and accelerometer step counts was poor and varied with activity level. Pedometer and accelerometer steps cannot be used interchangeably in overweight and obese pregnant women.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-11-501
PMCID: PMC3141462  PMID: 21703033
2.  Objectively measured physical activity during pregnancy: a study in obese and overweight women 
Background
Obese and overweight women may benefit from increased physical activity (PA) during pregnancy. There is limited published data describing objectively measured PA in such women.
Methods
A longitudinal observational study of PA intensity, type and duration using objective and subjective measurement methods. Fifty five pregnant women with booking body mass index (BMI) ≥ 25 kg/m2 were recruited from a hospital ultrasound clinic in North East England. 26 (47%) were nulliparous and 22 (40%) were obese (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2). PA was measured by accelerometry and self report questionnaire at 13 weeks, 26 weeks and/or 36 weeks gestation. Outcome measures were daily duration of light, moderate or vigorous activity assessed by accelerometry; calculated overall PA energy expenditure, (PAEE), and PAEE within four domains of activity based on self report.
Results
At median 13 weeks gestation, women recorded a median 125 mins/day light activity and 35 mins/day moderate or vigorous activity (MVPA). 65% achieved the minimum recommended 30 mins/day MVPA. This proportion was maintained at 26 weeks (62%) and 36 weeks (71%). Women achieving more than 30 mins/day MVPA in the first trimester showed a significant reduction in duration of MVPA by the third trimester (11 mins/day, p = 0.003). Walking, swimming and floor exercises were the most commonly reported recreational activities but their contribution to estimated energy expenditure was small.
Conclusion
Overweight and obese pregnant women can achieve and maintain recommended levels of PA throughout pregnancy. Interventions to promote PA should target changes in habitual activities at work and at home, and in particular walking.
doi:10.1186/1471-2393-10-76
PMCID: PMC3001702  PMID: 21114834
3.  Physical activity in pregnancy: a qualitative study of the beliefs of overweight and obese pregnant women 
Background
Whilst there has been increasing research interest in interventions which promote physical activity during pregnancy few studies have yielded detailed insights into the views and experiences of overweight and obese pregnant women themselves. The qualitative study described in this paper aimed to: (i) explore the views and experiences of overweight and obese pregnant women; and (ii) inform interventions which could promote the adoption of physical activity during pregnancy.
Methods
The study was framed by a combined Subtle Realism and Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) approach. This enabled us to examine the hypothetical pathway between beliefs and physical activity intentions within the context of day to day life. The study sample for the qualitative study was chosen by stratified, purposive sampling from a previous study of physical activity measurements in pregnancy. Research participants for the current study were recruited on the basis of Body Mass Index (BMI) at booking and parity. Semi-structured, in-depth interviews were conducted with 14 overweight and obese pregnant women. Data analysis was undertaken using a Framework Approach and was informed by TPB.
Results
Healthy eating was often viewed as being of greater importance for the health of mother and baby than participation in physical activity. A commonly cited motivator for maintaining physical activity during pregnancy is an aid to reducing pregnancy-related weight gain. However, participants often described how they would wait until the postnatal period to try and lose weight. A wide range of barriers to physical activity during pregnancy were highlighted including both internal (physical and psychological) and external (work, family, time and environmental). The study participants also lacked access to consistent information, advice and support on the benefits of physical activity during pregnancy.
Conclusions
Interventions to encourage recommended levels of physical activity in pregnancy should be accompanied by accessible and consistent information about the positive effects for mother and baby. More research is required to examine how to overcome barriers to physical activity and to understand which interventions could be most effective for overweight/obese pregnant women. Midwives should be encouraged to do more to promote activity in pregnancy.
doi:10.1186/1471-2393-10-18
PMCID: PMC2879230  PMID: 20426815

Results 1-3 (3)