Asian/Pacific Island Nursing Journal


birth weight, exercise, gestational weight gain, pregnancy, sports

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Medicine and Health Sciences


This study aimed to investigate the exercise habits of pregnant women in the third trimester (N = 303). We assessed participation in physical activities, including exercise or sports, using the Japanese version of the Pregnancy Physical Activity Questionnaire. A total of 183 (60.4%) pregnant Japanese women participated in some form of exercise and 87 (28.7%) exercised for 2 hours or more, per week, in the third trimester. Multiple logistic regression analyses indicated that women who set themselves a gestational weight gain target (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 8.10, 95% CI [2.82, 23.4], p< .001), were more likely to participate in exercise or sports. In contrast, multiparous women (AOR = 0.44, 95% CI [0.26, 0.72], p = .001), and those whose pre-pregnancy body weights suggested obesity (AOR = 0.51, 95% CI [0.30 0.87], p = .013) were less likely to participate in such activities. We found a relationship between non-participation for 2 hours or more, per week, to being multiparous (AOR = 0.33, 95% CI [0.18, 0.94], p< .001) and the presence of anemia in the second trimester (AOR = 0.51, 95% CI [0.28, 0.94], p = .031). Working status, seasonal differences, concerns about being overweight, and individual dietary nutritional guidance were not related to participation in exercise or sports. While setting a target for gestational weight gain may motivate participation in exercise or sports, women who were multiparous and those who perceived themselves as obese before pregnancy, showed a negative association with participation.