A study to simply observe pregnant women walking costs the US-based National Institute of Health nearly $500,000. This is the amount that US scientists are spending to find out how a "gentle" workout regiment of light walking can help pregnant women avoid depression.
"The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists strongly recommends regular physical activity throughout pregnancy, yet, in practice, many pregnant women are unsure of how to safely adhere to this recommendation," a grant for the project states. "Findings from our research indicate that a tailored, supported physical activity intervention would be acceptable to depressed pregnant women and would be preferable over pharmacotherapy."
Physical activity is "inexpensive, safe, and associated with multiple positive health outcomes," the grant said.
The research has cost taxpayers $471,770 since September. The study is scheduled to continue through July 2019. Moreover, the study has received funding from NIH's National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) and the Office of the Director.
Researchers will study 152 women, who will either walk or receive a "perinatal-focused health education" program. The study will see which group has less stress and depressive symptoms after being in the programs for 10-weeks.
The purpose of the study is to help prevent complications during pregnancy that can develop as a result of depression.