Research Article| Volume 34, ISSUE 6, P832-838, December 2021

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Changes in Physical Activity and Television Viewing From Pre-pregnancy Through Postpartum Among a Socioeconomically Disadvantaged Perinatal Adolescent Population


      Study Objective

      Adolescent pregnancy contributes to accelerated trajectories of adiposity and cardiometabolic diseases. Two potentially low-cost prevention strategies include promoting physical activity (PA) and limiting television (TV) viewing. Few studies have explored these behavior patterns in perinatal adolescents. This study sought to characterize PA and TV viewing in a socioeconomically disadvantaged perinatal adolescent population.

      Design, Setting, Participants, and Interventions

      A cross-sectional, retrospective, 10-item survey was used to explore behavior patterns in 79 predominantly Black (86%) postpartum adolescents. Main Outcome Measures: Outcomes included self-reported changes in PA from pre-pregnancy through pregnancy, and 7-day recall of PA and TV viewing in postpartum.


      The majority of adolescents (66%) reported being active on ≥3 days/week in pre-pregnancy; however, many reported low PA (≤2 days/wk) in their first (59%), second (66%), and third (54%) trimesters. Adolescents who reported being active on ≥5 days/wk in pre-pregnancy (19%) experienced first trimester PA decline, which subsequently plateaued. This group remained the most active throughout pregnancy. In postpartum, over half (54%) of all adolescents reported low PA and irrespective of PA, spent considerable time watching TV (median = 1680.0 minutes, inerquartile range = 2940).


      Interventions promoting PA coupled with reducing TV viewing during pregnancy and in postpartum may benefit perinatal adolescents. The findings from this study suggest that PA history is a predictor of gestational PA, and low PA and high TV viewing in postpartum underscore the need for behavioral intervention. Conducting a brief assessment of PA history in early gestation may offer important insight.

      Key Words

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