Patterns and Correlates of Self-Reported Physical Activity in a Cohort of Racially Diverse Pregnant Adolescents

Gabrielle K. Steinl, Corrie Whisner, Eva K. Pressman, Elizabeth M. Cooper, Susan W. Groth, Kimberly O. O'Brien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Study Objective: Regular physical activity (PA) during pregnancy decreases the risk of gestational hypertension and preeclampsia. Currently, little is known about the PA of pregnant adolescents. Our intent was to characterize the PA behaviors of a group of racially diverse, low-income pregnant teens and to identify potential determinants of PA. Design, Setting, Participants, and Interventions: A cohort of 157 racially diverse pregnant adolescents (13-18 years of age) completed up to 3 previous day PA recalls as part of a larger prospective longitudinal study on determinants of maternal and fetal bone health. Subjects self-reported activities from 7 AM to 11:30 PM, choosing from a list of 37 activities including a category for “other.” Subjects recorded activities in 30-minute intervals. Main Outcome Measures: Estimated metabolic equivalent task (MET) values were assigned to each activity and summed for a measure of total daily PA in MET min/d. Determinants of PA were evaluated using a stepwise linear mixed effect model. Results: The average calculated MET min/d was 1478 ± 130. Significant determinants of MET min/d included race (P =.007), maternal age at conception (P =.042), gestational age (P =.002), and attending school (P <.001). Black teens were less physically active than white teens, and older teens were more active than younger teens; activity decreased throughout gestation, and teens currently attending school were more active. Conclusion: PA is low across gestation and pregnant teens spent more than half of their monitored time in sedentary activities. Targeted interventions are needed to achieve current PA goals in this pediatric obstetric population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-56
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2019


  • Adolescent pregnancy
  • Inactivity
  • Physical activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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