Physical Activity and Sedentary Time in Pregnancy: An Exploratory Study on Oxidative Stress Markers in the Placenta of Women with Obesity

Saghi Zafaranieh, Anna M. Dieberger, Barbara Leopold-Posch, Berthold Huppertz, Sebastian Granitzer, Markus Hengstschläger, Claudia Gundacker, Gernot Desoye, Mireille N. M. van Poppel, Group Dali Core Investigator

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Journal article

3 Citations (Scopus)


Regular moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and reduced sedentary time (ST) improve maternal glucose metabolism in pregnancy. More MVPA and less ST outside pregnancy increase antioxidant capacity, hence, are beneficial in preventing oxidative stress. The placenta is the first line of defense for the fetus from an adverse maternal environment, including oxidative stress. However, effects of MVPA and ST on oxidative stress markers in the placenta are unknown. The purpose of this study was to assess the association of MVPA and ST in pregnancy with oxidative stress markers in placentas of overweight/obese women (BMI ≥ 29 kg/m 2). MVPA and ST were objectively measured with accelerometers at <20 weeks, 24-27 and 35-37 weeks of gestation. Using linear Bayesian multilevel models, the associations of MVPA and ST (mean and changes) with mRNA expression of a panel of 11 oxidative stress related markers were assessed in 96 women. MVPA was negatively correlated with HSP70 mRNA expression in a sex-independent manner and with GCLM expression only in placentas of female fetuses. ST was positively associated with HO-1 mRNA expression in placentas of male neonates. None of the other markers were associated with MVPA or ST. We speculate that increasing MVPA and reducing ST attenuates the oxidative stress state in placentas of obese pregnant women.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1069
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2022


  • obesity oxidative stress physical activity placenta sedentary behavior design of the study in the collection, analyses, or interpretation of data in the writing of the manuscript, or in the decision to publish the results.
  • placenta
  • sedentary behavior
  • obesity
  • oxidative stress
  • physical activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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