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Dr. Robert Catena's Gait and Posture Biomechanics Lab

Keeping pregnant women safe while active and working

More than 3.5 million working-aged women give birth in the U.S. each year. In addition, the increasing trend over the past decade is women with increasing fall risk (women 40-44 years of age are 3x more likely to fall compared to women in their 30s) to choose to have a baby. A little more than half of all pregnant women, almost 2 million pregnant woman each year, also work full time. More than 80% of first time pregnant women continue to work to within a month of their due date. Specifically in low wage earning industries like food service, pregnant women are financially pressured to work longer into their pregnancy, with fewer available work accommodations or restructuring of duties. Our goal is to keep these active women safe, particularly from injury and overexertion, during their pregnancy. This will keep them active (and healthier) longer into the pregnancy and make working easier.

  1. Connolly CP, Dahmen JB, Campbell N. Catena RD, Montoye AH. (2020). Physical activity monitor accuracy for overground walking and free-living conditions among pregnant women. Journal for the Measurement of Physical Behaviour. 3(2):100-109.
  2. Eckland CB, Vasavda AN, Catena RD (2021). Shoulder and elbow requirements during sagittal reach as a result of changing anthropometry throughout pregnancy. Applied Ergonomics. 94:103411.
  3. Music HE, Bailey JP, Catena RD. (2023). Upper Extremity Kinematics during Walking Gait Changes through Pregnancy. Gait and Posture. 104:97-102.
  4. Moore J, Catena R, Fournier L, Jamali P, McMeekin O, Stuart S, Walker R, Salisbury T, Godfrey A. (in press). Enhancing fall risk assessment: Instrumenting vision with deep learning during walks. Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation.

Phone: (509) 335-4250            Email:              Location: Smith Gym 19 and 21, Pullman WA 99164-1410