Professor Chris Lonsdale

Program Leader
Motivation and Behaviour Research program

Areas of expertise: motivation; behaviour; education; physical activity, screentime; digital media; rehabilitation; interventions; scalability

HDR Supervisor accreditation status: Full

ORCID ID: 0000-0002-2523-5565

Phone: +61 2 9739 2704


Location:  ACU North Sydney Campus

Chris’ research examines the motivational underpinnings of behaviour in a variety of contexts, including education, healthcare, and physical activity. He seeks to translate this knowledge into feasible and scalable interventions that have benefits for society. Prof Lonsdale’s research is multidisciplinary, and he publishes in top journals across many fields, including medicine (e.g., JAMA Pediatrics), education (e.g., Review of Educational Research), psychology (e.g., Journal of Educational Psychology, both top 1%), sport science (e.g., British Journal of Sports Medicine), and implementation science (e.g., Implementation Science). He aims to ensure his work has impact on the community by partnering early and authentically with key stakeholders, such as the NSW Department of Education, NSW Health, Sport Australia, and Special Olympics Australia.

Select publications

  • Hartwig TB, Sanders T, Vaconcellos D, Noetel M, Parker PD, Lubans DR, Andrade S, Ávila-García M, Bartholomew J, Belton S, Brooks NE, Bugge A, Cavero-Redondo I, Christiansen LB, Cohen K, Coppinger T, Dyrstad S, Errisuriz V, Fairclough S, Gorely T, Javier Huertas-Delgado F, Issartel J, Kriemler S, Kvalø SE, Marques-Vidal P, Martinez-Vizcaino V, Møller NC, Moran C, Morris J, Nevill M, Ochoa-Avilés A, O’Leary M, Peralta L, Pfeiffer KA, Puder J, Redondo-Tébar A, Robbins LB, Sanchez-Lopez M, Tarp J, Taylor S, Tercedor P, Toftager M, Villa-González E, Wedderkopp N, Weston KL, Yin Z, Zhixiong Z, Lonsdale C, Del Pozo Cruz B. School-based interventions modestly increase physical activity and cardiorespiratory fitness but are least effective for youth who need them most: An individual participant pooled analysis of 20 controlled trials. Br J Sports Med Internet. 2020; Available from:
  • Teixeira PJ, Marques MM, Silva MN, Brunet J, Duda JL, Haerens L, La Guardia J, Lindwall M, Lonsdale C, Markland D, Michie S, Moller AC, Ntoumanis N, Patrick H, Reeve J, Ryan RM, Sebire SJ, Standage M, Vansteenkiste M, Weinstein N, Weman-Josefsson K, Williams GC, Hagger MS. A Classification of Motivation and Behavior Change Techniques Used in Self-Determination Theory-Based Interventions in Health Contexts. Motivation Science Internet. 2020; Available from:
  • Lubans DR, Smith JJ, Eather N, Leahy AA, Morgan PJ, Lonsdale C, Plotnikoff RC, Nilsson M, Kennedy SG, Holliday EG, Weaver N, Noetel M, Shigeta TT, Mavilidi MF, Valkenborghs SR, Gyawali P, Walker FR, Costigan SA, Hillman CH. Time-efficient intervention to improve older adolescents’ cardiorespiratory fitness: Findings from the € Burn 2 Learn' cluster randomised controlled trial. Br J Sports Med Internet. 2020; Available from:
  • Ntoumanis N, Ng JYY, Prestwich A, Quested E, Hancox JE, Thøgersen-Ntoumani C, Deci EL, Ryan RM, Lonsdale C, Williams GC. A meta-analysis of self-determination theory-informed intervention studies in the health domain: effects on motivation, health behavior, physical, and psychological health. Health Psychol Rev Internet. 2020; Available from:
  • Garn AC, Morin AJS, White RL, Owen KB, Donley W, Lonsdale C. Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity as a predictor of changes in physical self-concept in adolescents. Health Psychol. 2020;39(3):190–8.
  • Hulteen RM, Barnett LM, True L, Lander NJ, del Pozo Cruz B, Lonsdale C. Validity and reliability evidence for motor competence assessments in children and adolescents: A systematic review. J Sports Sci. 2020;1–82.
  • Antczak D, Lonsdale C, Lee J, Hilland T, Duncan MJ, del Pozo Cruz B, Hulteen RM, Parker PD, Sanders T. Physical activity and sleep are inconsistently related in healthy children: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Sleep Med Rev Internet. 2020;51. Available from:
  • Vasconcellos D, Parker PD, Hilland T, Cinelli R, Owen KB, Kapsal N, Lee J, Antczak D, Ntoumanis N, Ryan RM, Lonsdale C. Self-Determination theory applied to physical education: A systematic review and meta-analysis. J Educ Psychol. 2020;112(7):1444–69.
  • Lonsdale C, Lester A, Owen KB, White RL, Peralta L, Kirwan M, Diallo TMO, Maeder AJ, Bennie A, Macmillan F, Kolt GS, Ntoumanis N, Gore JM, Cerin E, Cliff DP, Lubans DR. An internet-supported school physical activity intervention in low socioeconomic status communities: Results from the Activity and Motivation in Physical Education (AMPED) cluster randomised controlled trial. Br J Sports Med. 2019;53(6):341–7.
  • Costigan SA, Lubans DR, Lonsdale C, Sanders T, del Pozo Cruz B. Associations between physical activity intensity and well-being in adolescents. Prev Med. 2019;125:55–61.
  • Del Pozo-Cruz B, Perales F, Parker P, Lonsdale C, Noetel M, Hesketh KD, Sanders T. Joint physical-activity/screen-time trajectories during early childhood: Socio-demographic predictors and consequences on health-related quality-of-life and socio-emotional outcomes. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act Internet. 2019;16(1). Available from:
  • Sanders T, Parker PD, Del Pozo-Cruz B, Noetel M, Lonsdale C. Type of screen time moderates effects on outcomes in 4013 children: Evidence from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act Internet. 2019;16(1). Available from:
  • Kapsal NJ, Dicke T, Morin AJS, Vasconcellos D, Maïano C, Lee J, Lonsdale C. Effects of physical activity on the physical and psychosocial health of youth with intellectual disabilities: A systematic review and meta-analysis. J Phys Act Health. 2019;16(12):1187–95.


  • Ferreira P, Ferreira M, Bauman A, Hodges P, Maher C, Simic M, Morton R, Lonsdale C, Li Q, Baysari M, Amorim A, Ceprnja D, Clavisi O, Halliday M, Herbert R, Ho E, Jennings M, Kongsted A, Maka K, Reid K. (2020-2023). The Get Healthy Coaching Service to reduce the burden of low back pain: effectiveness, cost effectiveness, and scalability. NHMRC Partnership Project (Ref:APP1180474). $1,299,389
  • Lonsdale C, Biddle S, Parker P, Doherty A, Signal L, Baranowski T, Salmela-Aro K, Stevens R, Rissel C, Sanders T, del Pozo Cruz, Noetel M. (2020). Square Eyes or All Lies? Understanding Children's Exposure to Screens. Australian Research Council Discovery Project (Ref: DP200101912). $658,544.
  • Noetel, M., Lonsdale., C. Sanders, T., Parker, P., Tracey, D., Temple, V., Lubans, D., Bennie, A., Kapsal., N., Morrison, R., Johnston, N., Boyer, J., King, L. (2019). iPLAY for Inclusion. Sport Australia ‘Move It Aus’ Participation Grant Program (#PAR006502018), $248,802AUD.
  • Salmon, J., Timperio, A., Bauman, A., Lubans, D., Lonsdale C., Koorts, H., Telford, A., Ridgers, N., Barnett, L., Lamb, K. (2017). Scalability of the Transform-Us! program to promote children's physical activity and reduce prolonged sitting in Victorian primary schools. NHMRC Partnership Project Grant (Ref: APP1115708). $699,822.96.
  • Lonsdale, C. Lubans, D., Salmon, J., Morgan, P., Parker, P., Moodie, M., & McKay, H. (2015). Evidence-based physical activity promotion in primary schools: Improving children’s health through sustainable partnerships, NHMRC Partnership Project Grant (Ref: APP1114281), $1,526,598.

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