Table of Contents
ISRN Obstetrics and Gynecology
Volume 2014, Article ID 260539, 8 pages
Research Article

Knowledge and Attitude of Nigerian Pregnant Women towards Antenatal Exercise: A Cross-Sectional Survey

1Department of Medical Rehabilitation, College of Health Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria
2Departments of Obstetrics, Gynaecology & Perinatology, College of Health Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria
3Departments of Community Health, Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals Complex, Ile-Ife, Nigeria
4Department of Physiotherapy, University Health Services, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria
5Department of Physiotherapy, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria

Received 19 February 2014; Accepted 19 March 2014; Published 14 April 2014

Academic Editors: D. Ayres-de-Campos and C. Iavazzo

Copyright © 2014 Chidozie E. Mbada et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Engagement in physical exercise in pregnancy is hamstrung by safety concerns, skepticism about usefulness, and limited individualized prescription guidelines. This study assessed knowledge and attitude of pregnant women towards antenatal exercises (ANEx). Methods. The cross-sectional study recruited 189 pregnant women from six selected antenatal clinics in Ile-Ife, South-West, Nigeria. Data were obtained on maternal characteristics, knowledge, and attitude towards ANEx. Results. Relaxation and breathing (59.8%), back care (51.3%), and muscle strengthening (51.3%) exercises were the most commonly known ANEx. Prevention of back pain risk (75.9%) and excess weight gain (69.1%) were perceived as benefits, while lower extremities swelling (31.8%) and extreme weight gain or loss (30.7%) were considered as contraindications to ANEx. 15.8% of the respondents had negative attitude towards ANEx resulting from insufficient information on exercise (83.3%) and tiredness (70.0%). Age significantly influences knowledge about contraindications to ANEx ( ), while attitude was influenced by age and occupation, respectively ( ). There was significant association between attitude and knowledge about benefits and contraindications to ANEx ( ). Conclusion. A majority of Nigerian pregnant women demonstrated inadequate knowledge but had positive attitude towards ANEx. Knowledge about benefits and contraindications to ANEx significantly influenced the attitude towards exercise in pregnancy.