Dr. Barbara Ainsworth

Dr. Ainsworth, Ph.D., MPH is a professor with the Healthy Lifestyles Research Center and the Exercise and Wellness Program for Arizona State University's College of Nursing and Health Innovation.  Her research relates to physical activity and public health, and focuses upon 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 expenditure associated with 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 on the IPAQ website (www.ipaq.ki.se).

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 PCPFS Research Digest.


Dr. Ainsworth has lectured in numerous 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 program, 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 is a former president of the Southwest ACSM, a recent recipient of the ACSM National Citation Award, 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.