Feasibility and Acceptability of Accelerometer Measurement of Physical Activity in Pregnant Adolescents

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Feb 24;18(5):2216. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18052216.


During pregnancy, physical activity relates to better maternal and child mental and physical health. Accelerometry is thought to be effective for assessing free-living physical activity, but the feasibility/acceptability of accelerometer use in pregnant adolescents has not been reported. In this short communication, we conducted secondary analysis of a small pilot study to describe the feasibility/acceptability of accelerometry in pregnant adolescents and the preliminary results of physical activity characteristics. Participants were recruited from a multidisciplinary adolescent perinatal clinic. Physical activity was assessed with wrist-worn accelerometers. Feasibility was described as median days of valid wear (≥10 h of wear/day) for the total sample and the number/percentage of participants with ≥4 days of valid wear. Sensitivity analyses of wear time were performed. Acceptability ratings were collected by structured interview. Thirty-six pregnant (14.6 ± 2.1 gestational weeks) adolescents (17.9 ± 1.0 years) participated. Median days of valid wear were 4 days. Seventeen participants (51.5%) had ≥4 days of valid wear. There were no differences in characteristics of adolescents with vs. without ≥4 days of valid wear. Twenty participants (60.6%) had ≥3 days of valid wear, 24 (72.7%) ≥2 valid days, and 27 (81.8%) ≥1 valid wear day. Acceptability ratings were neutral. Assessing physical activity with accelerometry in pregnant adolescents was neither feasible nor acceptable with the current conditions. Future research should investigate additional incentives and the potential utility of a lower wear-time criterion in pregnant adolescents.

Keywords: at-risk; minorities; pregnancy measures; teen pregnancy; underserved populations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accelerometry*
  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Exercise*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pilot Projects
  • Pregnancy
  • Wrist