Application: Non-Intervention

Symons Downs D and Hausenblas HA. Women's exercise beliefs and behaviors during their pregnancy and postpartum. Journal of Midwifery & Women's Health. 2004: 49;1338-144.

  • Researchers first organized an elicitation study to examine women's behavioral, normative, and control beliefs about exercising during pregnancy and postpartum and to determine their most salient beliefs. Women's exercise during this period was also examined.
  • Postpartum women within 1 year of a child's birth recruited from office of private practice physician reported their exercise beliefs during pregnancy and postpartum by using open-ended statements. Statements and questionnaire was designed according to TPB and TPB questionnaire development guidelines posted on Ajzen's website.
  • The most common exercise beliefs during pregnancy were that exercise improves the mood and physical limitations obstructed exercise.
  • The most common exercise beliefs postpartum were that exercise controls weight gain and a lack of time obstructed exercise participation.
  • Women's husband/partner and family members most strongly influence their pregnancy and postpartum exercise behavior.
  • Women exercised more before they were pregnant than during pregnancy and postpartum.

Symons Downs D and Hausenblas HA. Exercising for two: Examining pregnant women's second trimester exercise intention and behavior using the framework of theory of planned behavior. Women's Health Issues. 2003:13;222-228.

  • Study prospectively examined women's exercise intention and behavior from their second to third trimester using Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB).
  • Prospectively assessed attitude, subjective norms, perceived behavioral control, exercise behavior, intention, personal history.
  • Hierarchical regression analyses indicated that intention and not perceived behavioral control significantly predicted exercise behavior; attitude was the strongest determinant of exercise intention followed by perceived behavioral control, and subjective norm.
  • Findings provide preliminary support for the TPB as an effective framework for examining exercising during pregnancy and such investigation can guide effective intervention programming.