The Exercise Adherence and Obesity Prevention Lab is led by Danielle Wadsworth, Ph.D.  The lab investigates physical activity behavior change and psychophysiological research. This research focuses on increasing physical activity participation and adherence through planning theory-based interventions. Many of the studies examine what factors motivate people to exercise and adhere to an exercise regimen over a long period of time. Wadsworth aims to develop techniques that make exercise fun and enjoyable, and therefore, more likely that people will regularly engage in the behaviors.


Wadsworth’s research applies a Social Cognitive perspective to physical activity promotion, which theorizes that behavior is a function of the environment and the person. Specifically, she focuses on understanding the psychological, social, environmental, and behavioral determinants of long-term exercise behavior across the lifespan and implementing behavioral and ecological physical activity interventions that empower individuals to self-regulate their exercise behavior.

Current research projects include:

  • The effect of HIIT training on psychological and physical parameters

  • Adherence to HIIT training protocols

  • Effect of sedentary behavior on psychological and physical parameters

  • The use of short messaging service to promote exercise adherence

  • The use of a mobile website to increase National Guard members’ physical readiness

  • The effect of school policies on in-school physical activity and nutrition consumption

  • The effect of motivational climates on preschoolers time-on-task and physical activity

Danielle Wadsworth
Ph.D., Professor
(334) 844-1836
Email Danielle Wadsworth, Ph.D.


Wadsworth’s outreach activities focus on providing exercise opportunities for the community. Since 2009, Wadsworth, in collaboration with the Dean of Veterinary Medicine’s office, has provided a Faculty Staff Fitness Program at the Vet. Med campus. A weekly schedule of 12-14 group exercise classes is offered each week that incorporate cardiovascular, resistance, and flexibility exercises. By implementing the faculty staff fitness program we have reduced the costs of inactivity (medical care costs, workers’ compensation costs, and loss of productivity) by reducing the medical cost for each employee by $1,140 per year.  

Wadsworth’s lab has conducted several cohorts of a women’s fitness program that enables women to engage in High Intensity Exercise Training.

In addition, Wadsworth offers exercise opportunities for young children by working with local preschools and elementary schools to implement effective physical activity and nutrition policies that promote the maintenance of a healthy weight.

Last updated: 05/05/2023