Edema of pregnancy: a comparison of water aerobics and static immersion

Obstet Gynecol. 1999 Nov;94(5 Pt 1):726-9. doi: 10.1016/s0029-7844(99)00414-7.


Objective: To compare the edema-relieving effects of static immersion with water aerobics.

Methods: Eighteen healthy women between 20 and 33 weeks' gestation were studied standing on land, immersed to the axilla, and participating in a water aerobics class, each for 30 minutes.

Results: Water aerobics and the static immersion led to a similar diuresis, 187 and 180 mL, respectively. Both were significantly greater than standing 30 minutes on land, 65 mL (P < .01). The dilutional effect as measured by a decline in urine specific gravity was also similar between static immersion and water aerobics and greater than standing on land (P < .01). Standing on land led to a small increase in leg volume compared with water aerobics or static immersion (P < .01).

Conclusion: Water aerobics had diuretic and edema-relieving effects similar to static immersion. When women develop edema of pregnancy, water aerobics classes may be used as a potential treatment.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Edema / therapy*
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immersion*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / therapy*
  • Water*


  • Water