Home Based Exercise Intervention in Pregnant Indian Women: Effects on Weight and Obesity Markers

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Background and Aims: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of a home based physical activity intervention during pregnancy on weight and various obesity markers resulting in metabolic syndrome in future. Methods: The paper presents a pilot experimental study (pre-post comparison) from a larger ongoing trial, with40 pregnant women (20 each) having singleton pregnancy of >16 weeks of gestation, BMI >18.5 Kg/m2 and declared fit by gynecologist for physical activity during pregnancy. They were assigned to either home exercise group receiving antenatal weight loss intervention delivered via 2 exercise demonstration sessions and informative brochures with advised regular 30 minutes walking during pregnancy, while control group was advised once at initial recruitment for maintaining active lifestyle during pregnancy. The data was analyzed using IBM-SPSS-(version 21) software. Results: Though the exercise group had less weight gain and weight retention than the control group, the pregnancy home intervention alone was not effective in controlling obesity parameters like body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), hip circumference (HC) and waist to hip ratio (W/H).Conclusion: Home based pregnancy exercise intervention should include other adjunct components, which could be diet advice or timely supervised exercise sessions to have appreciable obesity control during pregnancy.

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