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    Patterns, facilitators and barriers to physical activity among Nigerian pregnant women

    Mbada, Chidozie ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3666-7432, Ojo, Dolapo Adeola, Akinwande, Olabisi Aderonke, Orji, Okechukwu Ernest, Adeyemi, Adebanjo Babalola, Mbada, Kikelomo Aboyowa and Afolabi, Esther Kikelomo (2022) Patterns, facilitators and barriers to physical activity among Nigerian pregnant women. The Pan African Medical Journal, 42. p. 321. ISSN 1937-8688

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    Abstract

    Introduction: pregnancy is associated with sedentary behaviors and/or low levels of physical activity (PA). This study aimed to assess patterns, barriers, and facilitators of PA among pregnant women. Methods: a convergent parallel mixed method design study involving a concurrent collection of quantitative (n=198) and qualitative (n=36) data was carried out. Respondents were drawn from five selected health care facilities in Ile-Ife, Osun state, South-West, Nigeria. Physical activity was assessed using the pregnancy physical activity questionnaire. Focus group discussions were used to qualitatively explore barriers and facilitators of PA. Quantitative data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics, while qualitative data were analyzed using thematic content analysis. Results: the mean total PA score for the population was 118.663±81.522 mets-min/wk. While it was 118.743±92.062 mets-min/wk, 113.861±72.854 mets-min/wk, and 25.429±87.766 mets-min/wk for the first, second, and third trimester respectively. The respondents engaged more in moderate (44.27±37.07) than vigorous (13.89±18.87) intensity PA. Respondents in the third trimester had the highest and the least scores for household-related PA (45.7±33.0) and vigorous-intensity PA (10.0±14.0) respectively. Major themes that emerged on enablers and barriers of PA engagement during pregnancy were related to intrapersonal, interpersonal, availability of specialized health personnel and policy for PA, good built environment/neighborhood factors, and pervading cultural beliefs and myths about pregnancy. Conclusion: moderate intensity and household-related PA were most common among Nigerian pregnant women. Contextual facilitators and barriers to PA during pregnancy were largely related to intrapersonal, interpersonal, environmental or organizational, policy, and cultural factors.

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