Background: It has been questioned whether leisure time physical activity (LTPA) during pregnancy is beneficial or deleterious to pregnancy outcome, and whether a sedentary lifestyle during pregnancy has a negative impact on pregnancy. Answers to these questions are of general interest, since some young women are very physically active during leisure time, while others have a sedentary lifestyle.
Method: In this review, we analysed the association between LTPA and the selected pregnancy outcomes, gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), pre-eclampsia, preterm delivery, and birth weight.
Results: The prevailing literature clearly indicates that LTPA before and/or during pregnancy has a protective effect on the development of GDM and pre-eclampsia. Furthermore, LTPA does not seem to have a negative impact on the rate of preterm delivery or on birth weight.
Conclusion: Thus, it seems relevant that health authorities recommend 30 min of daily physical activity to healthy pregnant women.