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'Sit yourself down' : women’s experiences of negotiating physical activity during pregnancy.

Wagnild, J.M. and Pollard, T.M. (2020) ''Sit yourself down' : women’s experiences of negotiating physical activity during pregnancy.', Qualitative health research., 30 (7). pp. 1072-1082.


Approaches to understanding why physical activity (PA) tends to decline during pregnancy are generally based on individualized behavioral models, examining “barriers” or “enablers.” In contrast, we used a social practice approach to explore the ways in which women negotiate PA during pregnancy within the contexts and routines of their everyday lives. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 18 pregnant women who had been classed as being at risk of gestational diabetes. We found that leisure-time physical activities were valued as pleasurable and therapeutic, but women’s roles as employees and carers for others often constrained their opportunities for leisure-time PA. Women encountered others’ expectations that they should sit down and slow down. This surveillance was often resisted, as women relied on “listening to the body” as a way to negotiate PA. These findings have important implications for public health strategies or interventions designed to promote PA during pregnancy.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Publisher statement:Wagnild, JM & Pollard, TM (2020). “Sit yourself down” women’s experiences of negotiating physical activity during pregnancy. Qualitative Health Research 30(7): 1072-1082. Copyright © The Author(s) 2020. DOI: 10.1177/1049732320909103
Date accepted:04 February 2020
Date deposited:06 March 2020
Date of first online publication:06 March 2020
Date first made open access:06 March 2020

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