Abstract

Objectives: Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity provides multiple benefits to women after childbirth. To achieve these benefits, the recommendation that adults obtain, 150 min of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity per week and reduce sedentary behaviors, also applies to women in the post-partum phase of the life span. However, research examining the moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and sedentary behaviors of women with young children (0–2 years) is limited. A greater understanding of these behaviors from a nationally representative sample is needed. Therefore, the primary objective of this study was to determine the levels of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and sedentary behaviors of a nationally representative sample of women with young children within the United States. A secondary objective was to examine the influence of body mass index and sociodemographic factors on these behaviors. Methods: Cross-sectional data from four cycles of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2007–2008, 2009–2010, 2011–2012, and 2013–2014) were used for analysis. Descriptive statistics were calculated and a generalized linear model was used to investigate associations between mean minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, sedentary activity, body mass index, and sociodemographic variables. Discussion: Women with young children (n = 477) obtained 634 min in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity per week and this was positively associated with having a higher income (p < 0.001) and the number of children in the home (p < 0.001). In total, 62% of women were meeting the World Health Organization guidelines for aerobic activity. Lower odds of achieving guidelines was associated with being Black (p = 0.004), Mexican American (p = 0.009), or married (p = 0.042) compared with being White or not married. Finally, women accumulated ~5 h of sedentary activity per day, with higher levels associated with race (p = 0.005), education (p = 0.022), and number of children within the home (p < 0.001). Research efforts should continue to focus on strategies to help non-adhering women with young children achieve the physical activity recommendations and reduce time spent in sedentary behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalWomen's Health
Volume16
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020

Keywords

  • body mass index
  • mothers
  • physical activity
  • sedentary behavior
  • young children

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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