Barbara Ainsworth

Dr. Ainsworth, Ph.D., MPH is a professor in the Healthy Lifestyles Research Center and in the Program in Exercise and Wellness within the College of Nursing and Health Innovation at Arizona State University. Her research relates to physical activity and public health that focuses on the assessment of physical activity in populations and the evaluation of physical activity questionnaires.

Lead Author

Dr. Ainsworth is best known as the lead author for the Compendium of Physical Activities, an exhaustive list of the energy cost of human physical activities. She is a core member of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) development and evaluation team and serves as the translation coordinator for the questionnaires that reside on the IPAQ website (

Dr. Ainsworth serves on the Editorial Board for the journals Physical Activity and Health, International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Public Health Nutrition, and is senior editor for the PCPFS Research Digest.


Dr. Ainsworth has lectured in many countries and holds honorary academic appointments at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden and the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. She also serves on the international advisory committee for the Madrid community physical activity promotion programme, Foro Gana Salud.

Dr. Ainsworth is a fellow in the American College of Sports Medicine, Research Consortium of AAHPERD, American Academy of Kinesiology and Physical Education, and the North American Society of HPERD Professionals.


Dr. Ainsworth serves as the past president of the Southwest ACSM and is a recent ACSM National Citation Award recipient and an ACSM 2008 Presidential Lecturer. In mentoring her students at ASU, Dr. Ainsworth teaches courses on research methods, physical activity and public health, and physical activity epidemiology.