Efficacy and positive outcome of physical activity in pregnant women

  • Uchenna Benedine Okafor University of Fort Hare
  • Daniel Ter Goon University of Fort Hare
Keywords: Physical activity, Self-efficacy, Positive attitude, Pregnant women


Background & Objective: Evidence has shown the innumerable benefits of prenatal physical activity practice; therefore, the knowledge pregnant women have, and efforts to sustain the knowledge and encourage them to engage in prenatal physical activity, are desirable. The objective of the study was to assess the knowledge and attitudes concerning prenatal physical activity of pregnant women attending primary health antenatal care clinics.

Methods: A cross-sectional study of 1082 pregnant in Buffalo City Municipality, Eastern Cape province, South Africa were sampled from July to October 2019. Socio-demographic and maternal characteristics, and knowledge, attitude and practices towards prenatal activity were obtained.

Results: Overall, 62.4% women had high knowledge regarding prenatal physical activity; and half of the women showed a positive attitude toward it (50.1%). The majority of the participants affirmed prenatal physical activity is safe (88.2%) and beneficial for the baby (79.6%). Whilst participants had knowledge of other types of antenatal exercises, 80.9% of the women had no knowledge of swimming exercise. Negative attitudes towards physical activity included the feeling of tiredness (67.7%), lack of interest (64.8%), and inadequate information on physical activity (59.5%).

Conclusions: The women had high knowledge of prenatal physical activity, and relatively positive attitudes toward prenatal physical activity. The feeling of tiredness, lack of motivation and inadequate information on physical activity constituted negative attitudes towards physical activity. There is need to provide education and advocacy in the clinical settings; also, interventions to encourage and promote prenatal physical activity in the community and at home are desirable to address the weaknesses identified in this study regarding the women’s knowledge and attitudes concerning prenatal physical activity.

doi: https://doi.org/10.12669/pjms.38.8.4911

How to cite this:
Okafor UB, Goon DT. Efficacy and positive outcome of physical activity in pregnant women. Pak J Med Sci. 2022;38(8):2220-2226.  doi: https://doi.org/10.12669/pjms.38.8.4911

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

How to Cite
Okafor, U. B., & Goon, D. T. (2022). Efficacy and positive outcome of physical activity in pregnant women. Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences, 38(8). https://doi.org/10.12669/pjms.38.8.4911
Original Articles