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


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.

Publication DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17197304
Divisions: College of Health & Life Sciences > School of Psychology
College of Health & Life Sciences
Additional Information: © 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Uncontrolled Keywords: Behaviour change,COVID-19,Physical activity,Postnatal,Pregnancy,Theory,Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health,Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
Publication ISSN: 1660-4601
Last Modified: 26 Feb 2024 17:23
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2020 09:20
Full Text Link:
Related URLs: https://www.mdp ... 4601/17/19/7304 (Publisher URL)
http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2020-10-07
Accepted Date: 2020-10-02
Authors: Atkinson, Lou (ORCID Profile 0000-0003-1613-3791)
De Vivo, Marlize
Hayes, Louise
Hesketh, Kathryn R.
Mills, Hayley
Newham, James J.
Olander, Ellinor K.
Smith, Debbie M.



Version: Published Version

License: Creative Commons Attribution

| Preview

Export / Share Citation


Additional statistics for this record