Open Access

Physical activity of pregnant women in the eyes of physiotherapy students. The role of knowledge, beliefs and personal experiences among future physiotherapists


Introduction: The physical activity of pregnant women is still a matter of concern for both mothers and professionals. In the case of a healthy pregnancy without specific contraindications, physical activity may have a beneficial effect on mental and physical wellbeing, during pregnancy, childbirth and postnatal period. It is therefore important that pregnant women be provided with accurate information regarding recommended pre-gestational activity, based on scientifically-valid reports rather than subjective opinions.

The aim of the presented study was to analyze the state of knowledge and attitudes towards physical activity undertaken by women during pregnancy among physiotherapy students.

Materials and methods: The study involved 109 physiotherapy students studying at the Faculty of Physiotherapy in Katowice and at the Faculty of Physiotherapy at the Medical University of Lodz. The research was performed as an Internet-based study in which the participants completed an electronic version of a questionnaire constructed for the study.

Results: Students of physiotherapy are a physically active group, with the most popular being walking. Although the respondents have a satisfactory level of knowledge concerning the influence of physical activity on pregnancy, they still consider indoor cycling as less suitable for expectant mothers than outdoor cycling. The general level of knowledge of participants correlates negatively with the attitude: those more open and accepting of physical activity during pregnancy tend to display less reliable knowledge. Positive attitude is also associated with the sport background of the respondents: more active respondents tend to believe more strongly that physical activity has a positive impact on pregnancy.

Conclusions: Although the participants displayed satisfactory general knowledge concerning physical activity and pregnancy, they do not always correctly evaluate selected forms of activities as appropriate for pregnant women. This knowledge should be supplemented, as physiotherapy students are a group of future medical professionals who will shape the health behaviors of patients.

Publication timeframe:
4 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Medicine, Basic Medical Science, other, Clinical Medicine, Surgery, Public Health