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Physical Activity and Depressive Symptoms among Pregnant Women: The PIN3 Study


Demissie, Zewditu; Siega-Riz, Anna Maria; Evenson, Kelly R.; Herring, Amy H.; Dole, Nancy; & Gaynes, Bradley N. (2011). Physical Activity and Depressive Symptoms among Pregnant Women: The PIN3 Study. Archives of Women's Mental Health, 14(2), 145-157. PMCID: PMC3399732


Prenatal depression confers health risks for both mother and family. Physical activity may promote better mental health; however, few studies have examined the influence of physical activity on prenatal depression. Data from 1,220 women enrolled in the third Pregnancy, Infection, and Nutrition Study (2001–2005) were used to examine the associations between overall and domain-specific moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and depressive symptoms during pregnancy. Self-reported, past week physical activity assessed at 17−22 weeks’ gestation was modeled in logistic regression with self-reported depressive symptoms assessed by the Center for Epidemiologic Studies—Depression Scale at 24–29 weeks’ gestation. Active women with ≤2.67 h/week of total MVPA had almost half the odds of having high depressive symptoms as compared to women with no MVPA (odds ratio [OR] = 0.56, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.38, 0.83). Increased odds of elevated depressive symptoms were found for women participating in some but ≤2.25 h/week of adult and child care MVPA (OR = 1.84; 95% CI = 1.08, 3.11) and >1 h of indoor household MVPA (OR = 1.63, 95% CI = 0.99, 2.70) when compared to women with no MVPA. While overall MVPA may play a role in reducing the odds of developing elevated depressive symptoms, adult and child care and indoor household activities may increase it.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Archives of Women's Mental Health


Demissie, Zewditu
Siega-Riz, Anna Maria
Evenson, Kelly R.
Herring, Amy H.
Dole, Nancy
Gaynes, Bradley N.