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Regular physical activity during pregnancy has a positive impact on pregnancy outcomes and fetomaternal health.1–3 Pregnancy also offers the chance to increase physical activity and sustain this healthy behaviour beyond childbirth. Health behaviours established during childhood can last across the life course, so physical activity interventions during pregnancy may provide a powerful opportunity for population change.4
Despite these benefits, national recommendations do not exist in the UK for physical activity during pregnancy. In their 2011 physical activity recommendations, the UK Chief Medical Officers (CMOs) emphasised the importance of achieving an active lifestyle across the life course, producing guidelines for four categories: the under 5s, children and young people, adults, and older adults. Pregnancy, however, was omitted from their reviews of evidence and no specific physical activity recommendations exist for this group of women. …
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.