According to Petrofsky et al. (2010) obesity has become a predisposition to numerous chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. Women tend to have additional factors that promote being overweight such as pregnancy, overall decreased muscle mass, and hormonal factors in comparison to men who have increased muscle mass and lack the hormonal and pregnancy impact that may cause weight gain. In addition to the factors previously mentioned, recent studies have shown that women who are overweight going into a pregnancy tend to remain, or become even more overweight following pregnancy. The authors of the Petrofsky et al. study also look at the changes in posture and the alignment of the skeleton during pregnancy that affect posture both prenatal and postpartum, as well as the concept of self image and the role it plays in weight loss. According to Petrofsky et al.,“the greatest indicator of postpartum weight retention is weight gain during pregnancy” (p. 41). The Petrofsky et al. study investigates the use of a specialized diet and exercise program specifically designed to promote diet compliance and exercise designed to rehabilitate the muscles weakened during pregnancy and regain appropriate balance and posture with special consideration given to promoting positive self image.
Statement of the Problem
The purpose of the Petrofsky et al. (2010) study was to “assess the benefits of an exercise and diet program in restoring posture and balance and fitness in women who have given birth to 1 or more children in the last 18 years” (p. 40). The population included 117 women broken evenly into 3 groups. The first group consisted of 40 women who were labeled in the intervention group, the second group consisted of 40 women who were labeled the control group, and the third group consisted of 37 women who were labeled in the pre-pregnancy group (Petrofsky et al.). The women in the intervention and control groups were between the ages of 21 and 53 years and had a child within the last 18 years, while the pre-pregnancy group consisted of “younger women who did not have children” (Petrofsky et al., p. 42). The intervention group participated in the diet and exercise program, while the control group participated in all measurements, and the pre-pregnancy group only participated in the initial measurements. The intervention included a diet and exercise program that was specifically designed to allow for weight loss over the 2 month period of the study and the exercise program consisted of a specifically designed program to focus on areas of the body that are affected during pregnancy. The primary focus was on increasing muscle mass and increasing overall strength. The exercise program was clearly outlined and consisted of 30 minute exercise periods, which would increase each week, and was taken from a program of videos consisting of a combination of core training and aerobic and strength exercise. In addition, the...