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Keywords:

  • exercise;
  • physical activity;
  • pregnancy

Introduction: Based on a socioecological model, the present study examined multilevel barriers and facilitators related to physical activity engagement during pregnancy in women of low socioeconomic status.

Methods: Individual and paired interviews were conducted with 25 pregnant women (aged 18-46 years, 17-40 weeks’ gestation) to ask about motivational factors and to compare differences in activity level and parity. Atlas/Ti software was used to code verbatim interview transcripts by organizing codes into categories that reflect symbolic domains of meaning, relational patterns, and overarching themes.

Results: Perceived barriers and motivating factors differed between exercisers and nonexercisers at intrapersonal, interpersonal, and environmental levels.

Discussion: Future interventions should take into account key motivating multilevel factors and barriers to tailor more meaningful advice for pregnant women.