Stages of change, processes of change, and social support for exercise and weight gain in postpartum women

Colleen Keller, Janet Allan, Mindy B. Tinkle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Objectives: To test the extent to which social support and variables included in the Transtheoretical Model were explanatory for exercise initiation and weight maintenance in postpartum women. Design: A cross-sectional descriptive design. Setting: Data were collected in the participant's homes. Participants: Postpartum women who had normal pregnancies were interviewed and measured on body fat, physical activity, and psychosocial scales. Main Outcome measure: (a) Stages of exercise change measure, (b) Seven Day Recall, (c) Friend and Family Support for Exercise Scale, (d) Processes of Change Questionnaire, and (e) body fat measures including body mass index and percent body fat. Results: Forty percent reported engaging in vigorous activity less than 1 hour daily, 55% walked less than four city blocks daily, and 52% engaged in less than 2 hours of vigorous weekend activity. Multilinear regression showed that the processes of change contributed 36% to the body mass index, and 21% of the variance in waist-thigh ratio. Of the processes of change, environmental reevaluation correlated significantly with body mass index. Conclusion: The impact of a woman's weight on others as well as information concerning the health effects of obesity and physical activity could enhance the initiation of exercise in the postpartum woman.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)232-240
Number of pages9
JournalJOGNN - Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2006


  • Exercise
  • Physical Activity
  • Postpartum Weight
  • Social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics
  • Critical Care
  • Maternity and Midwifery


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