Background & objectives: High-intensity exercise results in oxidative stress in adult population. Impact of pubertal attainment on high-intensity exercise-induced oxidative stress in sedentary paediatric population has not been investigated in detail. The present study was conducted to investigate the extent of high-intensity exercise-induced oxidative stress in sedentary pre- and post-pubertal boys through estimation of serum thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS), total thiol content and activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT). Methods: Sixty four sedentary pre-pubertal (n=32, age = 10.21±0.67 yr) and post-pubertal (n=32, age = 15.58±0.47 yr) boys performed incremental treadmill running exercise at 80 per cent of the age predicted maximum heart rate till volitional exhaustion. Blood sample (5 ml) was drawn from each individual before and after the exercise for estimation of oxidative stress markers. Results: Pre-exercise SOD activity and total thiol level showed significant positive relationship with age and were significantly higher in post-pubertal boys. Serum TBARS level, SOD and CAT activities increased while total thiol content decreased in both the groups following exercise. Post-exercise percentage change in TBARS, SOD activity and total thiol level was significantly higher in post-pubertal boys, and these variables had significant positive relationship with age. No significant intergroup variations were noted in CAT activity before or after exercise. Interpretation & conclusions: Extent of post-exercise oxidative stress increased significantly with attainment of puberty. However, baseline and post-exercise antioxidation status also increased significantly as a function of age with pubertal maturation allowing the post-pubertal boys to counter relatively higher oxidative stress more efficiently than their pre-pubertal counterparts. Post-exercise upregulation in CAT activity might not be influenced by age or pubertal maturation in this age group. © 2019 Indian Journal of Medical Research, published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow for Director-General, Indian Council of Medical Research.