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Exercise during pregnancy: a comparative review of guidelines

  • Ioannis Tsakiridis , Dimitra Rafailia Bakaloudi , Artemis Christina Oikonomidou , Themistoklis Dagklis and Michail Chourdakis EMAIL logo


Exercise during pregnancy may be beneficial provided that there are no contraindications. The aim of this study was to summarize and compare recommendations regarding exercise in pregnancy. Thus, a comparative descriptive review was conducted and included guidelines by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada and the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. All compared guidelines recommend that pregnant women without contraindications should undertake physical activities regularly, however, the type of workout performed should be adjusted based on the previous exercise experience and the physical condition of each pregnant woman. A variation among the reviewed guidelines was identified on appropriate and inappropriate activities and on indications to interrupt exercise. To summarize, the adoption of an international up-to-date consensus regarding appropriate exercise during pregnancy may be beneficial in ensuring the safety of the pregnant women while promoting their physical and mental health.

Corresponding author: Michail Chourdakis, School of Medicine, Facutly of Health Sciences, Aristotle University, University Campus, 54124, Thessaloniki, Greece, Phone: +30 2310 999035; Fax: +30 2312 205270, E-mail:

Ioannis Tsakiridis and Dimitra Rafailia Bakaloudi share first authorship.

  1. Research funding: None declared.

  2. Author contributions: Ioannis Tsakiridis developed the original idea for the study and participated in the manuscript writing. Dimitra Rafailia Bakaloudi and Artemis Christina Oikonomidou evaluated the data and participated in the manuscript writing. Themistoklis Dagklis supervised the manuscript development. Michail Chourdakis supervised the manuscript development, participated in the revision and submitted the article. All the authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this submitted manuscript and approved submission.

  3. Competing interests: Authors state no conflict of interest.


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Received: 2019-11-13
Accepted: 2020-04-27
Published Online: 2020-07-03
Published in Print: 2020-07-28

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