Pregnant women's perceptions of physical activity: Adaptation of the pregnancy physical activity questionnaire in Dubai, a multicultural society.
BACKGROUND: There are major health benefits of physical activity (PA) during pregnancy, yet there is scant data about a woman's knowledge and understanding of these benefits globally. DESIGN AND METHODS: We aimed to evaluate the knowledge, attitude, and practice of pregnant women in the United Arab Emirates concerning exercise. We wanted to investigate why some women exercise while others do not exercise during pregnancy. We used a cross-sectional study using a paper-based questionnaire involving pregnant women at antenatal clinics in the Dubai health Authority. The Modified form of Pregnancy Physical Activity Questionnaire (PPAQ) was adapted in both Arabic and English and used in this study. RESULTS: Women aging 25-35 that had a higher educational level, were employed, having 1 or 2 previous pregnancies, and having better knowledge on the benefits of Physical Activity (PA) during pregnancy had better exercise profiles. CONCLUSIONS: Our results demonstrate that the majority of the women that participated in our study were shown to have low PA during pregnancy. Better education and communication of the benefits of PA during pregnancy are needed to improve exercise among pregnant women in the UAE population. We found that improved education of women specific to PA with involvement of a healthcare provider were associated with an increase in PA during pregnancy.