National trends in self-reported physical activity and sedentary behaviors among pregnant women: NHANES 1999-2006

Prev Med. 2010 Mar;50(3):123-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2009.12.015. Epub 2010 Jan 4.


Objective: The aims of this study were to describe the prevalence, trends, and correlates of physical activity among a national sample of pregnant women.

Method: Using data collected from the 1999-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, physical activity and sedentary behaviors were collected during interviews with 1280 pregnant women >/=16 years. Estimates were weighted to reflect the United States population.

Results: Overall 22.8% reported any transportation activity (i.e., to/from work/school), 54.3% reported any moderate to vigorous household activity, and 56.6% reported any moderate to vigorous leisure activity, all in the past month. Participation in any transportation and moderate to vigorous leisure activity was stable over time, while participation in any moderate to vigorous household activities and moderate leisure activities increased from 1999-2002 to 2003-06. Moderate to vigorous leisure activity was significantly higher among those in first trimester compared to third trimester, among non-Hispanic white participants compared to women from other race/ethnic groups, and among those with health insurance compared to those without. From 2003 to 2006, 15.3% of pregnant women reported watching 5 h or more of television or videos per day.

Conclusion: These data could be used to monitor trends and set national goals for physical activity among pregnant women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Nutrition Surveys*
  • Pregnancy*
  • Sedentary Behavior*
  • United States
  • Young Adult