When and how should chinese pregnant women exercise? A longitudinal study in China

Mi Xiang, Masayuki Konishi, Huanhuan Hu, Mio Nishimaki, Hyeon Ki Kim, Hiroki Tabata, Hisao Shimizu, Yue Fang, Xueyuan Li, Jiawei Xu, Zhiruo Zhang, Huigang Liang*, Takashi Arao, Shizuo Sakamoto

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This study aimed to examine when and how physical activity (PA) influences gestational weight gain (GWG) and infant birthweight (BW) by considering the PA’s total volume, timing, intensity, and type, controlling for the influence of energy intake. A total of 1272 participants in different stages of pregnancy were recruited from hospital. The associations between PA and GWG or BW in the latter half of pregnancy were significant. Women with the highest PA volume in the third trimester had significantly lower risks of inadequate and excessive GWG by 69% (OR = 0.31, 95%CI: 0.10–0.91) and 67% (OR = 0.33, 95% CI: 0.12–0.91), respectively, compared to women in the lowest quartile. Women who achieved the recommended moderate intensity of PA during their second and third trimesters, independent of total volume of PA, had infants with significantly lower BWs compared to those who did not (β = −0.15, SE = 66.33, p = 0.04; β = −0.20, SE = 64.54, p = 0.01, respectively). Therefore, the effects of total volume and intensity of PA on GWG and BW were different. Interventions to prevent inappropriate GWG and macrosomia may need to set different priorities and timing regarding total volume or intensity of PA.

Original languageEnglish
Article number180
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jan


  • Chinese women
  • Gestational weight gain
  • Infant birthweight
  • Physical activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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