Poster Title

Correlation between maternal physical exercises during late pregnancy and infant motor development

Grade Level at Time of Presentation

Senior

Institution

Western Kentucky University

KY House District #

17

KY Senate District #

17

Department

Department of Physical Therapy, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY

Abstract

Correlation between maternal physical exercises during late pregnancy and infant motor development.

Nikitha Rajendran1, Karen Furgal, PT, DPT, PCS2, Keri Esslinger, PhD3, Rachel Tinius PhD, ACSM-EP-C3

1 Gatton Academy of Math and Sciences, WKU, Bowling Green, KY

2 Department of Physical Therapy, WKU, Bowling Green, KY

3 Department of Kinesiology, Recreation, and Sport, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY

The relationship between maternal physical activity during late pregnancy and infant motor development has not been studied. Here we hypothesize that women who were physically active during pregnancy will have newborns with higher motor skill development at 4 months of age. Physical activity during late pregnancy (32-39 weeks) was assessed using Actigraph Link devices. Wrist-worn tri-axel accelerometers are a valid measure of physical activity-based energy expenditure in pregnant women. Data were collected for seven consecutive days at 30 Hz. The accelerometer output was sampled by a 12-bit analog-to-digital converter. The percentage of time spent sedentary, as well as the amount of time spent participating in different categories of physical activity ranging from light and moderate were calculated using algorithms corresponding to the following activity counts: sedentary: 0 - 99 counts/min, light: 100 - 759 counts/min, lifestyle: 760 - 1951 counts/min, moderate: 1952-5724 counts/min. In addition, potential confounders (e.g. amount of time infant spends in different positions, number of siblings, daycare environment, etc.) were assessed via surveys. The maternal physical activity levels during pregnancy and the AIMS scores in infants at 4 months has positively correlated. These results provide evidence to encourage pregnant women to be physically active throughout pregnancy in order to improve the motor development and performance of their child. These findings suggest maternal exercise as an effective and resourceful approach to improve maternal and infant health- as motor performance early in life is linked to improvements in cognitive function in childhood. In the coming months, the infant motor development using the Alberta Infant Motor Scale (AIMS), a validated test to assess motor control in infants at 4 months of age, will be performed by trained physical therapists and physical educators.

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Correlation between maternal physical exercises during late pregnancy and infant motor development

Correlation between maternal physical exercises during late pregnancy and infant motor development.

Nikitha Rajendran1, Karen Furgal, PT, DPT, PCS2, Keri Esslinger, PhD3, Rachel Tinius PhD, ACSM-EP-C3

1 Gatton Academy of Math and Sciences, WKU, Bowling Green, KY

2 Department of Physical Therapy, WKU, Bowling Green, KY

3 Department of Kinesiology, Recreation, and Sport, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY

The relationship between maternal physical activity during late pregnancy and infant motor development has not been studied. Here we hypothesize that women who were physically active during pregnancy will have newborns with higher motor skill development at 4 months of age. Physical activity during late pregnancy (32-39 weeks) was assessed using Actigraph Link devices. Wrist-worn tri-axel accelerometers are a valid measure of physical activity-based energy expenditure in pregnant women. Data were collected for seven consecutive days at 30 Hz. The accelerometer output was sampled by a 12-bit analog-to-digital converter. The percentage of time spent sedentary, as well as the amount of time spent participating in different categories of physical activity ranging from light and moderate were calculated using algorithms corresponding to the following activity counts: sedentary: 0 - 99 counts/min, light: 100 - 759 counts/min, lifestyle: 760 - 1951 counts/min, moderate: 1952-5724 counts/min. In addition, potential confounders (e.g. amount of time infant spends in different positions, number of siblings, daycare environment, etc.) were assessed via surveys. The maternal physical activity levels during pregnancy and the AIMS scores in infants at 4 months has positively correlated. These results provide evidence to encourage pregnant women to be physically active throughout pregnancy in order to improve the motor development and performance of their child. These findings suggest maternal exercise as an effective and resourceful approach to improve maternal and infant health- as motor performance early in life is linked to improvements in cognitive function in childhood. In the coming months, the infant motor development using the Alberta Infant Motor Scale (AIMS), a validated test to assess motor control in infants at 4 months of age, will be performed by trained physical therapists and physical educators.