Paper Type

Master's Thesis


Brooks College of Health

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Clinical & Applied Movement Sciences

NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. Department of Clinical & Applied Movement Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. James R. Churilla

Second Advisor

Dr. Tammie M. Johnson

Rights Statement

Third Advisor

Dr. Samantha Ehrlich

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Laurie Wideman

Fifth Advisor

Dr. James Pivarnik

Department Chair

Dr. James Churilla

College Dean

Dr. Joel Beam


Objective: We sought to examine differences in aerobic activity (AA) and muscle-strengthening activity (MSA) by diabetes risk status (DRS) among pregnant women in the United States.

Background: Pregnant women without complications are advised to engage in physical activity (PA) to mitigate adverse outcomes. Differences may exist among pregnant women of diverging diabetes status in meeting national PA recommendations.

Methods: The sample (n=9,597) included pregnant women ages 18-44, who participated in 2011, 2013, 2015, and 2017 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Levels of DRS were: no diabetes (ND), high risk for diabetes (HRD) due to self-reported gestational diabetes or pre-diabetes, and overt diabetes (DM). Odds ratios (ORs) for meeting PA recommendations were obtained. Covariates included age, race, education, household child count, alcohol consumption, and smoking status.

Results: Findings revealed that on average, group DM had 46.5 fewer minutes of weekly AA compared to group ND. Furthermore, a significantly lower OR (0.39; P

Conclusion: We observed pregnant women with overt diabetes have a lower likelihood of engaging in PA, while group HRD was similar in their PA engagement as group ND. Solutions should be explored for improving PA participation in pregnant women with diabetes so that they may also enjoy the health benefits. Actions include increasing PA promotion by clinical providers, implementing methods for overcoming barriers to PA, and exploring strategies to make exercise palatable to this population.