Physical fitness levels of pregnant and nonpregnant women.
The effects of pregnancy on women’s fitness levels were investigated. Twenty-seven subjects were selected for Group 1, based on criteria including pregnancy at the third trimester without medical problems of complications and participation in Lamaze childbirth classes. The 27 subjects selected for Group 2 included non-pregnant women who were matched for height and pre-pregnant weight (body surface area) with group 1, and who denied medial complications. Data from Group 1 were collected in May 1977. Subjects were recruited from Salt Lake City Lamaze classes, and questionnaires were given to these women for completion. The questionnaires elicited information regarding demographic data, health status, obstetrical histories (past and present) and physical activity levels. Standardized treadmill tests were performed at The University of Utah Human Performance Research Laboratory. Constant electrocardiographic recordings were obtained during the test and for ten minutes afterwards and fetal heart tones and blood pressure readings were obtained before and after the test. Calculations incorporating body weight and slope of treadmill at which the subjects’ heart rates reached 140 beats per minute were performed in order to arrive at a value of work rate. Questionnaires regarding postpartum outcome were returned by 14 of the original 27 Group 1 subjects. Data from Group 2 were obtained in October 1977. Subjects were recruited from the University of Utah Medical Center Nursing Service and from the College of Nursing, and selection was determined on volunteers’ ability to match Group 1 as previously described. Questionnaires identical to that in Group 1 were used and completed by the subjects, and an identical treadmill test was performed. Calculations of work rate were than determined for Group 2. Descriptive statistics describing age, parity, income, educational status, exercise levels, total exercise score, work rate in watts, knowledge and incorporation of the basic four food groups, and general health status were reported. Means of the frequency of specific forms of exercises identified by the subjects were also reported. In addition, percentage of Group 1 subjects who were still employed outside their home was described. Pearson product moment correlation coefficients were analyzed to identify and describe relationships between exercise history scores and work rates (Group 1: r=-.10, p>0.05; Group 2: r=+.52, p>0.005); resting pulse rates and work rate (Group 1: r=-.29, p>0.05; Group 2: r=-.30, p>0.05; Group: r=-.52, p<0.0006). No significant relationships were revealed for either Group 1 or Group 2 between either assessment of fitness and work rate or body surface area and work rate (p>0.05). Spearman rank order correlation coefficients were used to identify and describe relationships between women’s rating of their own physical fitness levels and work rates (p>0.05). A T-test was performed to establish similarity of the two groups on body surface area (p>0.05). Thereby comparison between the two groups based on body surface area was validated. T-test were then performed to compare the two groups according to variables including work rate in watts (p<0.05), resting pulse rates (p<0.01), and ten-minute recovery pulse rates (p<0.01). The findings rejected the null hypotheses that there was no difference in the results of standardized treadmill testing between pregnant and non-pregnant women matched for pre-pregnant body surface area, that there was no significant difference between the resting pulse rates of pregnant and non-pregnant women, and the there was no difference between the ten-minute recovery pulse rates of pregnant and non-pregnant women. The null hypothesis that there was no discrepancy between a women’s assessment of her physical activity level and her actual performance in standardized treadmill testing was also rejected. In addition, these findings did not support the null hypothesis that there was no relationship between a women’s physical activity level and the effects of standardized treadmill testing, that there was no relationship between a woman’s resting pulse rate and her performance in standardized treadmill testing, and that there was no relationship between a woman’s ten-minute recovery pulse rate and standardized treadmill testing for non-pregnant women, although it supported those same null hypotheses for pregnant women.
University of Utah;
Physical Fitness; Pregnancy;
University of Utah;
Relation-Is Version Of
Digital reproduction of “Physical fitness levels of pregnant and nonpregnant women.” Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library. Print version of “Physical fitness levels of pregnant and nonpregnant women.” available at J. Willard Marriott Library Special Collection. RA 4.5 1978 S55.