The effect of regular daily walking on adverse pregnancy outcomes among overweight primigravidas: a prospective cohort study
Objective: The study aims to evaluate the effect of regular daily walking on the occurrence of adverse pregnancy outcomes among overweight primigravidas.
Materials and Methods: A prospective cohort study conducted at Aswan University Hospital from March 2015 to December 2016. The study included 360 overweight primigravidas, with singleton pregnancies, who were divided into two groups: Group I (control group) and Group II (study group) under supervised regular walking 5 times per week for 30 minutes, starting from 10-12 weeks of gestational age to 38-39 weeks of gestational age. The primary outcome of the study was the rate of gestational weight gain in participants in both groups. Secondary outcomes included the rate of gestational diabetes mellitus, gestational hypertension, preeclampsia, preterm labor (<37 weeks of>gestation), postdate pregnancy, fetal macrosomia (> 4 kg), excessive maternal weight gain (>11.5 kg), and the rate of cesarean delivery.
Results: There were no significant differences between groups with regard to the basic criteria. The exercise program decreased the incidence of preeclampsia (OR=0.120; 95% CI=0.015-0.970; p=0.037), postdate (OR=0.274; 95% CI= 0.099-0.759); p=0.008), excessive weight gain (OR=0.220; 95% CI=0.114-0.424), p=0.000), and cesarean delivery (OR=0.519; 95% CI=0.316-0.841, p=0.007).
Conclusion: Regular maternal walking throughout the pregnancy may be a preventive tool for preeclampsia, postdate pregnancy, excessive weight gain and may decrease the incidence of cesarean delivery in primigravidas.