Awareness and Perception of Physical Activity among Nigerian Pregnant Women Attending Primary and Tertiary Health Facilities: A Comparative Study


  • GM Emmanuel
  • AA Adejimi
  • TW Ladi-Akinyemi
  • KJ Sodeinde
  • OO Oyewole



Background: Despite the benefits of physical activity (PA) during pregnancy, expectant women are not meeting the exercise recommendations. This may be connected with their level of awareness, perception, and attitude to physical exercise.

Objective: To assess and compare the awareness and perception of pregnant women about PA at primary and tertiary health care facilities (PHC and THC) in a local government in Nigeria.

Methods: A comparative, cross-sectional study recruited 502 pregnant women from six selected health facilities (250 PHC vs 252 THC). Their perception and awareness of PA were assessed using an interviewer-administered questionnaire.

Results: Pregnant women accessing care in THC have a higher level of awareness than PHC attendees (60.7% vs 34.4%; p = 0.001). Women accessing care at PHC had a better perception of PA (67.2%) than women assessing care at THC 55.2% (p = 0.006). Age and occupation were significantly associated with awareness of PA among participants in PHC, while only occupation was significantly associated with THC. Age, occupation, and number of children alive were significant predictors of awareness of PA; in contrast, age, education, monthly income, and number of pregnancies were the predictors of perception of PA among the PHC participants.  

Conclusion: Awareness of PA was good in the tertiary facility but poor in PHC, while perception of PA was good in both facilities. Women, irrespective of parity, should be inspired to exercise as women who habitually exercise are more likely to continue during pregnancy.


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Original Research