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Original Research Articles

Effects of physical exercises for physical and psychological problems among antenatal mothers in a district in Sri Lanka

Authors:

Sawanthi Herath ,

Senior Registrar (Community Medicine), Health Education Bureau, Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine, LK
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S. Sivayogan,

Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Sri Jayawardenapura, LK
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Professor of Community Medicine
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Ayendra Balasuriya

Senior Lecturer, Head - Department of Paraclinical Sciences, Head - Public Health and Family Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University, LK
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Abstract

Background Pregnancy is a natural and normal physiological state and therefore, pregnant woman would be healthier if she remains active. Exercises can be one way to be active and are defined as any bodily activity that enhances or maintains physical fitness and overall health. Even minor physical and psychological symptoms not appropriately treated could debilitate pregnant women. The present study was undertaken to assess the importance of exercises for alleviation of physical and psychological problems among pregnant mothers.

Objective To determine physical and psychological problems associated with pregnancy and to assess the effects of physical exercises among a group of primigravida antenatal mothers in Kegalle District, Sri Lanka.

Methods A quasi experimental study was conducted, to implement a course of antenatal exercises, for a selected group of primigravida mothers in second trimester, in two MOH areas in Kegalle district. Physical and psychological problems were assessed by pre-tested interviewer administered and self administered questionnaires. Sample size was 234 each for control and intervention groups. Control and intervention groups were assessed at pre intervention, at four months during pregnancy and at six weeks post partum.

Results and conclusions Logistic Regression analysis revealed intervention group mothers were significantly less likely to develop physical problems, psychological distress and depression compared to control group mothers. Exercised mothers were 61% less likely to deliver a low birth weight baby compared to the control group which was statistically significant (adjusted OR=0.391; 95% CI; 0.217 to 0.706; p<0.05).

DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jccpsl.v21i1.8072
How to Cite: Herath, S., Sivayogan, S. & Balasuriya, A., (2016). Effects of physical exercises for physical and psychological problems among antenatal mothers in a district in Sri Lanka. Journal of the College of Community Physicians of Sri Lanka. 21(1), pp.28–39. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jccpsl.v21i1.8072
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Published on 18 Jul 2016.
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