Doctor Rhiannon White

Doctor Rhiannon White

Senior Lecturer, Health and Physical Education,
Personal Development, Health & Physical Education


Dr Rhiannon White is a Lecturer in Health and Physical Education (HPE) at Western Sydney University. Rhiannon completed her undergraduate degree in Health Science (PDHPE) and her honours degree on the development of resilience through youth sport both at Western Sydney University. Rhiannon completed her PhD at the Australian Catholic University in 2016. Rhiannon’s PhD research focused on the relationships between specific physical activity domains (leisure-time, active transport, work-related physical activity, household physical activity, school sport, and physical education) and aspects of mental health and wellbeing. Her PhD research also examined whether motivation towards physical activity influenced the relationships between physical activity and mental health. 

Rhiannon has particular experience conducting research with adolescents both in the community and in the school setting. Rhiannon has published a number of peer reviewed journal articles to date and has presented at the International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity conference. 

Contact Rhiannon via email:

Follow Rhiannon on twitter: @RhiannonLWhite

This information has been contributed by Doctor White.


  • PhD Australian Catholic University
  • BHSc (Honours) University of Western Sydney
  • BHSc (PDHPE) Western Sydney University

Professional Memberships

  • International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and physical Activity (2015 - 2018)

Organisational Unit (School / Division)

  • Personal Development, Health & Physical Education


Phone: (02) 47360 508
Location: K.G.06K
Penrith (Kingswood)

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Previous Teaching Areas

  • 400896 Gymnastics and Dance, 2019
  • 401055 Sport and Exercise Psychology, 2019


Journal Articles

  • Vella, S., Sutcliffe, J., Fernandez, D., Liddelow, C., Aidman, E., Teychenne, M., Smith, J., Swann, C., Rosenbaum, S., White, R. and Lubans, D. (2023), 'Context matters : a review of reviews examining the effects of contextual factors in physical activity interventions on mental health and wellbeing', Mental Health and Physical Activity, vol 25 .
  • White, R., Ryan, D., Young, C., Elston, R. and Rossi, T. (2023), 'How does the context of physical activity influence perceived mood and wellbeing after exercise?', Mental Health and Physical Activity, vol 24 .
  • Vella, S., Aidman, E., Teychenne, M., Smith, J., Swann, C., Rosenbaum, S., White, R. and Lubans, D. (2023), 'Optimising the effects of physical activity on mental health and wellbeing : a joint consensus statement from sports medicine Australia and the Australian Psychological Society', Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, vol 26, no 2 , pp 132 - 139.
  • Murrin, E., Taylor, N., Peralta, L., Dudley, D., Cotton, W. and White, R. (2023), 'Does physical activity mediate the associations between blue space and mental health? : a cross-sectional study in Australia', BMC Public Health, vol 23, no 1 .
  • Ahmadi, A., Noetel, M., Parker, P., Ryan, R., Ntoumanis, N., Reeve, J., Beauchamp, M., Dicke, T., Yeung, A., Ahmadi, M., Bartholomew, K., Chiu, T., Curran, T., Erturan, G., Flunger, B., Frederick, C., Froiland, J., Gonzalez-Cutre, D., Haerens, L., Jeno, L., Koka, A., Krijgsman, C., Langdon, J., White, R., Litalien, D., Lubans, D., Mahoney, J., Nalipay, M., Patall, E., Perlman, D., Quested, E., Schneider, S., Standage, M., Stroet, K., Tessier, D., Thogersen-Ntoumani, C., Tilga, H., Vasconcellos, D. and Lonsdale, C. (2023), '[In Press] A classification system for teachers' motivational behaviours recommended in self-determination theory interventions', Journal of Educational Psychology, .
  • Cheema, B., Shi, Z., White, R. and Atlantis, E. (2023), 'Associations of recreational and nonrecreational physical activity and body weight change on cardiovascular disease mortality during the obesogenic transition in the United States : national health and nutrition examination survey follow-up study', Journal of Physical Activity and Health, vol 20, no 10 , pp 971 - 979.
  • Chandio, N., Micheal, S., Tadakmadla, S., Sohn, W., Cartwright, S., White, R., Sanagavarapu, P., Parmar, J. and Arora, A. (2022), 'Barriers and enablers in the implementation and sustainability of toothbrushing programs in early childhood settings and primary schools: a systematic review', BMC Oral Health, vol 22, no 1 .
  • Murphy, J., McGrane, B., White, R. and Sweeney, M. (2022), 'Self-esteem, meaningful experiences and the rocky road : contexts of physical activity that impact mental health in adolescents', International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, vol 19, no 23 .
  • Bennie, A., Marlin, D., Apoifis, N. and White, R. (2021), ''We were made to feel comfortable and ... safe' : co-creating, delivering, and evaluating coach education and health promotion workshops with Aboriginal Australian peoples', Annals of Leisure Research, vol 24, no 1 , pp 168 - 188.
  • White, R., Bennie, A., Vasconcellos, D., Cinelli, R., Hilland, T., Owen, K. and Lonsdale, C. (2021), 'Self-determination theory in physical education : a systematic review of qualitative studies', Teaching and Teacher Education, vol 99 .
  • Garn, A., Morin, A., White, R., Owen, K., Donley, W. and Lonsdale, C. (2020), 'Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity as a predictor of changes in physical self-concept in adolescents', Health Psychology, vol 39, no 3 , pp 190 - 198.
  • Teychenne, M., White, R., Richards, J., Schuch, F., Rosenbaum, S. and Bennie, J. (2020), 'Do we need physical activity guidelines for mental health : what does the evidence tell us?', Mental Health and Physical Activity, vol 18 .
  • Cocker, K., Teychenne, M., White, R. and Bennie, J. (2020), 'Adherence to aerobic and muscle-strengthening exercise guidelines and associations with psychological distress : a cross-sectional study of 14,050 English adults', Preventive Medicine, vol 139 .
  • Ee, C., Courten, B., Avard, N., de Manincor, M., Al-Dabbas, M., Hao, J., McBride, K., Dubois, S., White, R., Fleming, C., Egger, G., Blair, A., Stevens, J., MacMillan, F., Deed, G., Grant, S., Templeman, K. and Chang, D. (2020), 'Shared medical appointments and mindfulness for Type 2 diabetes : a mixed-methods feasibility study', Frontiers in Endocrinology, vol 11 .
  • White, R., Bennie, J., Abbott, G. and Teychenne, M. (2020), 'Work-related physical activity and psychological distress among women in different occupations : a cross-sectional study', BMC Public Health, vol 20, no 1 .
  • Lonsdale, C., Lester, A., Owen, K., White, R., Peralta, L., Kirwan, M., Diallo, T., Meader, A., Bennie, A., MacMillan, F., Kolt, G., Ntoumanis, N., Gore, J., Cerin, E., Cliff, D. and Lubans, D. (2019), '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', British Journal of Sports Medicine, vol 53, no 6 , pp 341 - 347.
  • Hartwig, T., Del Pozo-Cruz, B., White, R., Sanders, T., Kirwan, M., Parker, P., Vasconcellos, D., Lee, J., Owen, K., Antczak, D., Lubans, D. and Lonsdale, C. (2019), 'A monitoring system to provide feedback on student physical activity during physical education lessons', Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, vol 29, no 9 , pp 1305 - 1312.
  • White, R., Olson, R., Parker, P., Astell-Burt, T. and Lonsdale, C. (2018), 'A qualitative investigation of the perceived influence of adolescents' motivation on relationships between domain-specific physical activity and positive and negative affect', Mental Health and Physical Activity, vol 14 , pp 113 - 120.
  • Lubans, D., Beauchamp, M., Diallo, T., Peralta, L., Bennie, A., White, R., Owen, K. and Lonsdale, C. (2018), 'School physical activity intervention effect on adolescents' performance in mathematics', Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, vol 50, no 12 , pp 2442 - 2450.
  • White, R., Parker, P., Lubans, D., MacMillan, F., Olson, R., Astell-Burt, T. and Lonsdale, C. (2018), 'Domain-specific physical activity and affective wellbeing among adolescents : an observational study of the moderating roles of autonomous and controlled motivation', International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, vol 15 .
  • White, R., Babic, M., Parker, P., Lubans, D., Astell-Burt, T. and Lonsdale, C. (2017), 'Domain-specific physical activity and mental health : a meta-analysis', American Journal of Preventive Medicine, vol 52, no 5 , pp 653 - 666.
  • Lonsdale, C., Lester, A., Owen, K., White, R., Kirwan, M., Maeder, A., Bennie, A., MacMillan, F., Kolt, G., Ntoumanis, N., Gore, J., Cerin, E., Diallo, T., Cliff, D. and Lubans, D. (2016), 'An internet-supported physical activity intervention delivered in secondary schools located in low socio-economic status communities : study protocol for the Activity and Motivation in Physical Education (AMPED) cluster randomized controlled trial', BMC Public Health, vol 16, no 1 .
  • Morin, A., Maiano, C., White, R., Owen, K., Tracey, D., Mascret, N. and Lonsdale, C. (2016), 'English validation of the short form of the physical self-inventory (PSI-S)', Psychology of Sport and Exercise, vol 27 , pp 180 - 194.
  • White, R. and Bennie, A. (2015), 'Resilience in youth sport : a qualitative investigation of gymnastics coach and athlete perceptions', International Journal of Sports Science and Coaching, vol 10, no 2-3 , pp 379 - 393.
  • Babic, M., Morgan, P., Plotnikoff, R., Lonsdale, C., White, R. and Lubans, D. (2014), 'Physical activity and physical self-concept in youth : systematic review and meta-analysis', Sports Medicine, vol 44, no 11 , pp 1589 - 1601.

Other Publications

  • 2021, 'Tennis New South Wales 'Play Project' Research Report 2021', Report
  • 2021, 'Understanding Participant Experiences of Walking Football in Australia', Report
  • 2017, 'Coaching Unlimited: Empowering Generations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Leaders: A Research Report Commissioned by Netball Australia and Netball New South Wales', Report

Rhiannon’s research aims to promote participation in physical activity in a way that improves people’s mental health and wellbeing, as well as their physical health. Her research focuses on examining different physical activity behaviours (e.g., leisure-time physical activity, active transport, work-related physical activity, school sport, and physical education) and is often guided by self-determination theory. This theory helps determine the effect of motivation on both physical activity levels and mental health benefits. Rhiannon has conducted research with adults and adolescents, in both community sport and school settings. She has experience running large intervention trials; conducting surveys, interviews, and systematic reviews; and measuring exercise via accelerometer devices.  Rhiannon has particular interest in supervising students in the areas of physical activity promotion, physical education, motivation, self-determination theory, and mental health.

This information has been contributed by Doctor White.

Current Projects

Title: Enablers and barriers to accessing and implementing Bright Smiles Bright Futures (BSBF) Program in NSW primary and preschool settings
  • Colgate-Palmolive Pty Ltd
Western Researchers: Amit Arora, Prathyusha Sanagavarapu, Rhiannon White and Sowbhagya Micheal
Years: 2021-04-01 - 2023-12-31
ID: P00027415

Previous Projects

Title: Evaluating the social and health-related impact of a Shuffleboard program in Australian aged care facilities
  • Australian Shuffleboard
Western Researchers: Emma George, Aymen El Masri, Rhiannon White and Helen Black
Years: 2021-06-01 - 2022-02-28
ID: P00027342
Title: Tennis NSW 'Play Project'
  • Tennis New South Wales Ltd
Western Researchers: Andrew Bennie and Rhiannon White
Years: 2020-10-05 - 2022-10-30
ID: P00026827

Western Sydney University

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