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Pregnancy and physical activity: facilitating change
  1. Katherine Rose Marino1,
  2. Gráinne Donnelly2,
  3. Isabel S Moore3,
  4. Marlize De Vivo2,4,
  5. Dane Vishnubala5,6
  1. 1 Keele University, Keele, UK
  2. 2 Canterbury Christ Church University, Canterbury, UK
  3. 3 Cardiff School of Sport, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Cardiff, UK
  4. 4 Active Pregnancy Foundation, London, UK
  5. 5 Hull York Medical School, Hull, UK
  6. 6 University of Leeds, Leeds, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Katherine Rose Marino, Keele University, Keele ST5 5BG, UK; katie.marino{at}

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There are several benefits of physical activity (PA) in pregnancy, yet engagement levels are low. Less than 30% of pregnant women worldwide meet PA recommendations, compared with 45%–55% of non-pregnant women in developed countries.1 Benefits of PA in pregnancy include: reduced risk of hypertensive disorders and gestational diabetes and decreased gestational weight gain.1 2 Furthermore, PA can be used in pregnancy to treat medical conditions, such as improving glycaemic control in pregnant women with diabetes.3 However, less than half of healthcare professionals know the PA pregnancy guidelines and only one-third of pregnant women receive professional PA guidance.4 5 While PA pregnancy guidelines exist, the translation of these guidelines to the end user has not been effective. In this editorial, we discuss PA recommendations during pregnancy, how healthcare professionals can support and facilitate PA in pregnancy and explore future research opportunities.

The recommendations

In 2019, The chief medical officers (CMO) of the four countries comprising the UK recommended that pregnant women aim to accumulate 150 min of moderate intensity PA per week and engage in muscle strengthening activities 2 days a week.2 Being active in pregnancy is safe for most women, but some may need to consult a healthcare professional before they begin or continue to be physically active. The Get Active Questionnaire for Pregnancy is a self-administered prescreening tool …

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  • Twitter @krmarino1, @IzzyMoorePhD, @marlizedv

  • Correction notice This article has been corrected since it published Online First. The competing interests statement has been updated.

  • Contributors KRM created the initial draft of the manuscript. All authors contributed to the editing of the manuscript and the final editorial.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests KRM and ISM are BJSM associate editors and GD, ISM and DV are advisors to The Active Pregnancy Foundation.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.