Physical Activity in Women With Infants


This is a study testing ways to motivate new mothers to become more physically active over a one year period.

Study Type

  • Study Type: Interventional
  • Study Design
    • Allocation: Randomized
    • Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
    • Primary Purpose: Prevention
    • Masking: Single (Investigator)
  • Study Primary Completion Date: July 2012

Detailed Description

Mothers of an infant are much less likely to exercise regularly compared with women who have older children or no children. This low level of physical activity (PA) contributes to postpartum weight retention which can predict levels of obesity up to 15 years later. Ethnic minorities have higher rates of inactivity and gain more weight following childbirth, which places them at increased risk for cancer and other chronic diseases consistent with known health disparities for these ethnic groups. Few PA interventions have been designed to increase PA in women with an infant, especially ethnic minority women. This study will test the efficacy of a tailored intervention to increase and maintain PA in a multiethnic population of 268 young, healthy postpartum women living in Hawaii. Women will be recruited from health care settings, mother/baby support groups, and from the media campaigns(TV, radio, newspaper, parents magazines). Subjects will be randomly assigned to either a tailored postpartum counseling intervention on PA or standard care for PA. The tailored PA intervention will address key personal, social, and environmental factors derived from Social Cognitive Theory and the Transtheoretical Model. Also, multimodal contacts (telephone, e-mail, website) will be used to deliver theoretically-derived, culturally sensitive PA counseling,behavioral skills training (e.g., goal setting), and local resources/referrals tailored to a mother with an infant. The standard care condition receives American Heart Association/American College of Sports Medicine print materials/e-mails and referral to PA internet resources.

The primary PA outcome is minutes of moderate/vigorous physical activity (MVPA) per week, as measured by the Active Australia Questionnaire, with validation by accelerometers worn by all subjects. Condition differences in the initiation of PA will be tested at 6 and 12 months post-baseline. Key psychosocial, physiological, and cultural factors will be tested as mediators or moderators of PA, for example: self-efficacy, social support, processes of change, ethnicity, BMI, and cultural values. This study will serve as a model for the design and implementation of PA interventions for at-risk ethnic minority postpartum women.


  • Behavioral: physical activity tailored
    • tailored telephone counseling, email feedback, and website resources over 12 months
  • Behavioral: physical activity standard
    • standard print and website information on how to become more active

Arms, Groups and Cohorts

  • Experimental: 1- physical activity tailored
    • Tailored telephone counseling about how to become more physically active and goal setting. Email feedback on physical activity progress. Website listing resources new mothers can use to become more active.
  • Active Comparator: 2 – physical activity standard
    • Standard Website resources / information on physical activity

Clinical Trial Outcome Measures

Primary Measures

  • Minutes of Moderate or Vigorous Physical Activity Per Week After 12-months
    • Time Frame: 12 months
    • Self reported minutes of moderate or vigorous physical activity per week after 12-months

Secondary Measures

  • Accelerometer Collected Moderate to Vigorous Physical Activity
    • Time Frame: 12-Months
    • Participant’s physical activity (overall moderate-to-vigorous physical activity above 2.9 metabolic equivalents (METs) collected via an accelerometer over 12 months

Participating in This Clinical Trial

Inclusion Criteria

  • mother of infant aged 2-12 months
  • sedentary
  • healthy, able to do moderate intensity physical activity
  • BMI = 18.5-40
  • not planning to become pregnant in next year
  • woman aged 18-45
  • able speak and read English

Exclusion Criteria

  • pregnant
  • planning to leave Oahu, Hawaii in the next year (permanently move away)
  • a diagnosis of cancer, coronary heart disease (including atrial fibrillation), insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM), and other atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases (e.g., stroke),

Gender Eligibility: Female

Minimum Age: 18 Years

Maximum Age: 45 Years

Are Healthy Volunteers Accepted: Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Investigator Details

  • Lead Sponsor
    • University of Hawaii
  • Collaborator
    • National Cancer Institute (NCI)
  • Provider of Information About this Clinical Study
    • Sponsor
  • Overall Official(s)
    • Cheryl L Albright, PhD, MPH, Principal Investigator, University of Hawaii, School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene

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