Associate Professor Tony Okely


Director of the Early Start Research                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           


Tony is a former primary school physical and health education teacher. Since 1999 he has been an academic in the Faculty of Education at the University of Wollongong. His research interests are interventions to improve motor development, promote physical activity, and prevent unhealthy weight gain in children and adolescents.

He has over 65 publications in national and international peer-reviewed journals and funded competitive research grants and tenders totalling in excess of $2 million.

He was the lead author on the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing’s tender to develop the Australian Physical Activity Recommendations for Children under five years. He was the Chief Investigator on the NSW Schools Physical Activity & Nutrition Survey, 2004, (SPANS 2004). In 2000 he authored a fundamental movement skills resource that was disseminated into every NSW Department of Education and Training primary school. He is currently Vice-President of the Australian and New Zealand Obesity Society (ANZOS) and co-Director of the Australasian Child and Adolescent Obesity Research Network (ACAORN). In the past four years, Associate Professor Okely has been nominated for a Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Research Supervision at the University of Wollongong, receiving a high commendation for this award in 2007 and 2010. He has advised on over 10 state and national-based surveys and projects on child health.

Selected Publications

  1. Okely AD, Collins CE, Morgan PJ, Jones RA, Warren JM, Cliff DP, Burrows T, Colyvas K, Steele JR, Baur LA. Multi-site randomized controlled trial of a child-centred physical activity program, a parent-centred dietary-modification program, or both in obese children: The HIKCUPS study. The Journal of Pediatrics. DOI: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2010.03.028.
  2. Cliff DP, Reilly JJ, Okely AD (2009). Methodological considerations in using accelerometers to assess habitual physical activity in children aged 0-5 years. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 12, 557-567.
  3. Riethmuller A, Jones RA, Okely AD. Efficacy of interventions to improve motor development in young children: a systematic review of controlled trials. Pediatrics 2009;124(4):E782-E792
  4. Morgan PJ, Okely AD, Cliff DP, Jones RA, Baur LA (2008). Correlates of Objectively Measured Physical Activity in Obese Children. Obesity, 16, 2634-2641.
  5. Peralta L, Jones RA, Okely AD (2009). Promoting healthy lifestyles among adolescent boys: The Fitness Improvement and Lifestyle Awareness Program RCT. Preventive Medicine, 48, 537-542.
  6. Okely AD, Booth ML, Hardy LL, Denney-Wilson E, Dobbins T. (2008). Changes in physical activity participation from 1985-2004 in a statewide survey of Australian adolescents. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 162(2), 176-180.
  7.  Hinkley T, Crawford D, Salmon J, Okely AD, Hesketh K (2008). Preschool children and physical activity: a review of correlates. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 34(5), 435-441. (Impact factor = 3.497.
  8. Trost, S.G., Way, R., Okely, A.D. (2006). Predictive validity of three ActiGraph energy expenditure equations for children. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 38, 380-387.
  9. Okely, A.D., Booth, M.L., Chey, T. (2004). Relationships between body composition and fundamental movements skills among children and adolescents. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 75, 238-247.
  10. Okely, A.D., Booth, M.L., & Patterson, J.W. (2001). Relationship of physical activity to fundamental movement skill proficiency among adolescents. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 33, 1899-1904.



Last reviewed: 30 November, 2017