Pregnancy, Fitness, and Sports

Evalyn S. Gendel, MD
JAMA. 1967;201(10):751-754. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130100049012.
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The premise of this communication is that lack of physical activity and sports since childhood —leading to underdeveloped, poor tone abdominal musculature, and weak fascial tissue—is a major contributing factor in chronic, severe, low backache following pregnancy in a group of young women.

A group of patients 18 to 23 years of age was studied and followed during a period of 1 1/2 to 5 years. All of the patients were seen by the same physician. Most were supervised throughout pregnancy and the postpartal period. Others, whose babies had been delivered elsewhere, came as patients when they moved into the area.

The clinical impression of these patients was compiled into a composite case history for study. Members of the Maternal Welfare Committee of the State Medical Society, board-certified obstetricians and gynecologists, and general practitioners limiting their practices to obstetrics and gynecology were asked for comments on similar findings in their


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