Encouraging Physical Activity during and after Pregnancy in the COVID-19 Era, and beyond

Atkinson, Lou, De Vivo, Marlize, Hayes, Louise, Hesketh, Kathryn R., Mills, Hayley, Newham, James, Olander, Ellinor K. and Smith, Debbie M. (2020) Encouraging Physical Activity during and after Pregnancy in the COVID-19 Era, and beyond. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17 (19). p. 7304. ISSN 1660-4601

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17197304


Physical activity is known to decline during pregnancy and the postnatal period, yet physical activity is recommended during this time due to the significant health benefits for mothers and their offspring. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions imposed to reduce infection rates, pregnant and postnatal women have experienced disruption not just to their daily lives but also to their pregnancy healthcare experience and their motherhood journey with their new infant. This has included substantial changes in how, when and why they have engaged with physical activity. While some of these changes undoubtedly increased the challenge of being sufficiently active as a pregnant or postnatal woman, they have also revealed new opportunities to reach and support women and their families. This commentary details these challenges and opportunities, and highlights how researchers and practitioners can, and arguably must, harness these short-term changes for long-term benefit. This includes a call for a fresh focus on how we can engage and support those individuals and groups who are both hardest hit by COVID-19 and have previously been under-represented and under-served by antenatal and postnatal physical activity research and interventions.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding Information: The British Psychological Society (BPS), Division of Sport and Exercise Psychology (DSEP) provided funds to facilitate the formation of this research working group. All authors are members of this research working group (Supporting Pre-conception, Pregnant and Post-natal women to be Physically Active: SP4A), apart from additional author K.R. Hesketh.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Behaviour change, COVID-19, Physical activity, Postnatal, Pregnancy, Theory
Subjects: B900 Others in Subjects allied to Medicine
C800 Psychology
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Psychology
Depositing User: Rachel Branson
Date Deposited: 07 Jul 2021 09:17
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2021 10:19
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/46623

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