Exercise Practice Among Women Attending Antenatal Care at the University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka, Zambiaq
Science Journal of Public Health
Volume 3, Issue 3, May 2015, Pages: 361-365
Received: Apr. 6, 2015; Accepted: Apr. 15, 2015; Published: Apr. 27, 2015
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Loveness A. Nkhata, Department of Physiotherapy, School of Medicine, University of Zambia, Lusaka, Zambia
Esther Munalula-Nkandu, Department of Physiotherapy, School of Medicine, University of Zambia, Lusaka, Zambia
Hastings Shula, Department of Physiotherapy, School of Medicine, University of Zambia, Lusaka, Zambia
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Introduction: In the absence of medical or obstetrical complications, pregnant women are encouraged to continue and maintain active lifestyles during their pregnancies. Benefits of exercise during pregnancy include; prevention of excessive gestational weight gain, gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, undergoing a caesarean section and reduced low back pain. The aim of the study was to obtain information on exercise practice among women attending antenatal care at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) in Lusaka, Zambia and establish whether, educational level, number of pregnancies and cultural background had an influence on exercise practice during pregnancy. Methods: We collected data using a self- administered questionnaire in a cross sectional, exploratory study and summarized data using descriptive statistics. The chi-square test was used to test association between variables and the significance level was set at 5%. Results: Three hundred women participated in the survey. The majority of the respondents 74% (n=222) exhibited inadequate levels of knowledge on exercise and the type of ideal exercises. Exercise practice in relation to the educational levels was insignificant. However, cultural background had a significant association to the women’s exercise practice (p-value 0.025). In addition, the number of pregnancies was positively associated to the women’s exercise practice (p-value 0.01) during pregnancy. Conclusions: Pregnant women practice general physical activities of daily living such as walking and household chores during pregnancy. They do not know the specific antenatal exercises. Consequently, they are not able to practice the ideal exercise during pregnancy. This highlights the need for Physiotherapy personnel to be actively involved during antenatal to educate pregnant women on the ideal exercise activities.
Antenatal, Exercise, Knowledge, Practice, Pregnancy, Physiotherapy
To cite this article
Loveness A. Nkhata, Esther Munalula-Nkandu, Hastings Shula, Exercise Practice Among Women Attending Antenatal Care at the University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka, Zambiaq, Science Journal of Public Health. Vol. 3, No. 3, 2015, pp. 361-365. doi: 10.11648/j.sjph.20150303.19
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