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Whoop study details benefits of exercise for pregnant women


Joe Lemire

A new academic study of the activity levels of women who wore the Whoop before, during and after pregnancy indicated physiological benefits for those who continued to exercise. The data also suggests that resting heart rate (RHR) and wearable heart rate variability (HRV) could help detect pregnancy earlier.

Additionally, in a new finding, a slight increase in RHR and HRV was observed seven weeks before birth, which researchers believe could be an indicator of remaining pregnancy duration.

Academics from the West Virginia University School of Medicine conducted the study, which was peer-reviewed. More than three dozen working women between the ages of 18 and 35 enrolled in the study, 18 of whom became pregnant and gave birth. Whoop said it intended to use its technology and data to improve research on female physiology and added a menstrual cycle coaching app for athletes. Whoop’s Vice President of Performance Science, Kristin Holmes, will speak at SportTechie’s State Of The Industry conference in New York City on April 12.

Both HRV and RHR decreased soon after conception and before a woman’s first missed period. Women’s activity levels halved during pregnancy, from 28 minutes a day to 14 minutes, but those who were more active had consistently improved HRV and RHR, according to a research summary posted on the website. by Whoop. Both of these measures then improved about 50 days before birth.

“Qualitative evidence suggests strong cultural expectations that women should ‘sit up and slow down’ during pregnancy,” said Dr. Shon Rowan, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at WVU who led the study, in a statement. “Exercise guidelines for pregnant women have changed, but not in a large scale or well-known way. Contrary to past recommendations, this study found that any type of activity during pregnancy is beneficial. not necessarily driven by intensity, but by duration.


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