n International SportMed Journal - The effect of a low impact exercise training programme on the well-being of Greek postpartum women : a randomised controlled trial : original research article

Volume 12, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1528-3356



Existing evidence on guidance of postpartum fitness activities is scarce. To examine the effects of a low impact exercise programme on the physical and psychosocial well-being of postpartum women. Randomised controlled trial. Forty healthy primiparous Greek women were randomly assigned at 4-6 week postpartum to follow either a low impact exercise training programme, involving 50-60 min of aerobic, stretching and strengthening exercise, 3 days a week, for 12 weeks (experimental group; n=20) or no training programme at all (control group; n=20). Prior to initiation of the study and 12 weeks later, participants answered the Lederman Postpartum Self-Evaluation Questionnaire, in order to evaluate psychosocial well-being, and mothers' body weight and infant feeding methods were recorded, in order to evaluate women's physical well-being. All data were analyzed using Mancova test, a Linear Mixed model and the Chi-square test. Psychosocial well-being parameters were significantly improved in the experimental group, as compared with the control group, including "quality of partner relationship" (p<.05) and "satisfaction from labour and delivery experience" (p<.05). Differences in body weight changes between the two groups were insignificant, while the experimental group was more stable regarding the infant feeding method after the 12-week period (p = ns) as opposed to the control group (p<0.001). Implementation of a low impact exercise training programme appears to improve the psychosocial well-being of postpartum women. Healthcare providers should consider incorporation of a low impact exercise training programme into their management plan of women after childbirth.

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