Determinants of Changes in Women's and Men's Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior across the Transition to Parenthood: A Focus Group Study

Vickà Versele, Femke Marijn Stok, Anna Dieberger, Tom Deliens, Dirk Aerenhouts, Benedicte Deforche, Annick Bogaerts, Roland Devlieger, Peter Clarys

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Becoming a parent may cohere with drastic changes in physical activity (PA) and sedentary behavior (SB). A clear understanding of determinants of changes in PA and SB during pregnancy and postpartum is needed to facilitate the development of tailored family-based interventions.

METHODS: Thirteen focus group discussions targeting determinants of changes in PA and SB behavior were conducted, involving a total of 74 expecting and first-time parents. A semi-structured question guide was used to facilitate the discussions.

RESULTS: Four main levels of determinants were identified: the individual (including psychological, situational and biological determinants), interpersonal, environmental and policy level. Some determinants were mentioned to be a barrier (e.g., "barriers to self-care") while others were a facilitator (e.g., "weight control"). Determinants were related to both PA and SB and applicable during pregnancy as well as postpartum (e.g., "self-regulation"), or only related to one behavior and/or one period (e.g., "feeding baby"). Some were described by both parents (e.g., "parenthood perceptions"), whereas others were mentioned by women (e.g., "PA knowledge") or men (e.g., "time opportunities") only.

CONCLUSIONS: Focus should be given to interventions aimed at improving parents' self-regulation skills and support on how to cope with interpersonal and situational constraints as well as parenthood perceptions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2421
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume19
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Feb 2022

Keywords

  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Men
  • Postpartum Period
  • Pregnancy
  • Sedentary Behavior

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