Regular physical activity is a key part of a healthy pregnancy, according to the SOGC/CSEP 2019 Canadian Guideline on Physical Activity throughout Pregnancy. The new Get Active Questionnaire for Pregnancy released by the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP) is designed to identify the small number of individuals who should seek medical advice as a first step to becoming or continuing to be physically active during the months that they are pregnant, and to help the majority of healthy pregnant individuals overcome any concerns they might have with getting or staying active.
“This new evidence-informed Questionnaire is designed to be self-administered and provides clear advice to individuals who are pregnant to confirm whether it is safe for them to begin or continue to exercise during this special time in their life,” says CSEP’s panel Chair, Margie Davenport, PhD, from the University of Alberta’s Program for Pregnancy and Postpartum Health. “Physical activity is safe for most who are pregnant, but there are some cases where the individual should consult with their health care provider first and this questionnaire guides them on when this is necessary.”
The short Questionnaire helps individuals decide whether they should speak to a Health Care provider before they begin or continue to be physical active. The checklist asks yes and no questions about pre-existing medical conditions (e.g., Type 1 diabetes), pregnancy-related conditions (e.g., placenta previa), as well as other reasons that the pregnant individual may be concerned about being physically activity during pregnancy. Positive responses to any of the questions indicate that a conversation with their health care provider would be beneficial. Questions about their level of physical activity prior to, and during pregnancy, and their desired level of physical activity are included to help start a conversation with a qualified exercise professional about becoming or staying active.
Developed in concert with the Get Active Questionnaire for Pregnancy, the companion Health Care Provider Consultation Form for Prenatal Physical Activity helps health care providers have a meaningful conversation about the benefits of physical activity with their pregnant patients and discuss whether any modifications to their activity plan are required. Taken together, these new tools will help pregnant individuals who wish to become active to get the right guidance and reduce uncertainty.
“CSEP has a long history of developing internationally-recognized guidelines and pre-screening forms for physical activity as part of our work to bring science to practice. We were proud to bring together a group of clinicians and exercise professional stakeholders to develop this important tool for individuals who are pregnant.” says CSEP Board Chair, Adam Upshaw, PhD, Niagara College. “This Questionnaire is the only one of its kind in the world. It is clear, easy to use, and reduces the barriers to begin or continue to be active during pregnancy. Pregnant individuals, qualified exercise professionals and health care providers across Canada are encouraged to download and use the Questionnaire.”
The Get Active Questionnaire for Pregnancy was developed by a panel of experts from the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology, Society for Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada, College of Family Physicians of Canada, Canadian Academy of Sport and Exercise Medicine, the Canadian Physiotherapy Association Women’s Health Division, and leading academics in the area of exercise and pregnancy from Canada and the US. Both the Questionnaire and Health Care Provider Consultation Form are available on the CSEP website, in English and in French