Pregnant women’s perceptions of physical activity: Adaptation of the pregnancy physical activity questionnaire in Dubai, a multicultural society
  • Sadhiya Siyad
    Department of Public Health, Dubai Medical College, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
  • Naima Mustafa
    Department of Public Health, Dubai Medical College, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
  • Syeda Sakeena Banu
    Department of Public Health, Dubai Medical College, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
  • Maryam Ali Buharoon
    Department of Public Health, Dubai Medical College, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
  • Maryam Abdulla Al Mulla
    Department of Public Health, Dubai Medical College, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
  • Handan Ankarali
    University of Central Florida College of Medicine, Orlando, FL, United States.
  • Frederick Robert Carrick
    University of Central Florida College of Medicine, Orlando, FL, United States.
  • Mahera Abdulrahman
    Health Informatics and Smart Health Department, Health Regulation Sector, Dubai Health Authority, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.


Background: There are major health benefits of physical activity (PA) during pregnancy, yet there is scant data about a woman's knowledge and understanding of these benefits globally.

Design and Methods: We aimed to evaluate the knowledge, attitude, and practice of pregnant women in the United Arab Emirates concerning exercise.   We wanted to investigate why some women exercise while others do not exercise during pregnancy. We used a cross-sectional study using a paper-based questionnaire involving pregnant women at antenatal clinics in the Dubai health Authority. The Modified form of Pregnancy Physical Activity Questionnaire (PPAQ) was adapted in both Arabic and English and used in this study.

:  Women aging 25-35 that had a higher educational level, were employed, having 1 or 2 previous pregnancies, and having better knowledge on the benefits of Physical Activity (PA) during pregnancy had better exercise profiles.
Conclusions: Our results demonstrate that the majority of the women that participated in our study were shown to have low PA during pregnancy. Better education and communication of the benefits of PA during pregnancy are needed to improve exercise among pregnant women in the UAE population. We found that improved education of women specific to PA with involvement of a healthcare provider were associated with an increase in PA during pregnancy.


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