Physical activity by pregnant women and outcomes for newborns: a systematic review

Rev Saude Publica. 2009 Dec;43(6):1059-69. doi: 10.1590/s0034-89102009005000074. Epub 2009 Dec 18.
[Article in English, Portuguese]


A systematic review was carried out aiming at analyzing daily physical activity during pregnancy and the outcomes of birth weight, prematurity, and intrauterine growth restriction. Of 52 articles indexed in Medline, 22 that showed better methodological quality were included. Among the 22 articles analyzed, only two did not detect a significant association between physical activity and the outcomes studied. There was large variation between the indicators of maternal physical activity, which included occupational, household, recreational and, all or some, locomotive activities. Among ten articles that measured total daily physical activity, only one article did not find any association. The results support the hypothesis that both excessive and insufficient physical activity impact negatively on pregnancy outcomes.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Birth Weight / physiology
  • Female
  • Fetal Growth Retardation / etiology
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Motor Activity / physiology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome*
  • Premature Birth / etiology
  • Risk Factors