Richard Troiano, Ph.D.
Program Director, Risk Factor Assessment Branch, Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program

Contact Information

Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program
Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences
National Cancer Institute
National Institutes of Health
9609 Medical Center Drive, Rm. 4E138, MSC 9762
Bethesda, MD 20892
(For express delivery, use Rockville, MD 20850)

Interest Areas

  • Physical activity assessment/monitoring
  • Body weight assessment/monitoring


  • Ph.D. – Human Nutrition
    Cornell University
  • M.N.S. – Clinical Nutrition
    Cornell University


Dr. Richard (Rick) Troiano is a Program Director in the Risk Factor Assessment Branch of the Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program in NCI's Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences (DCCPS). Dr. Troiano promotes the validation and use of accelerometer-based devices in the assessment of physical activity in research and population surveillance. He is interested in promoting improved understanding of the information obtained from devices and self-reports and the analytic implications of different data sources. Dr. Troiano also supports federal efforts to promote health-enhancing physical activity, as evidenced by his recent detail to the Office of the Surgeon General to support development of Step it Up! The Surgeon General's Call to Action to Promote Walking and Walkable Communities and his service as Coordinator for the development of 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans and co-executive secretary for the 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.

Prior to joining EGRP, Dr. Troiano was an Epidemiologist in the Risk Factor Monitoring and Methods Branch in the Applied Research Program (now the Health Care Delivery Research Program), DCCPS. In this capacity, he worked with the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) to implement the use of devices in the survey to obtain objective measures of participants' physical activity-related movement and sleep, as well as body strength.

In 1993, Dr. Troiano entered government service and the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He joined the Division of Health Examination Statistics of CDC's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), where he helped design the body composition, physical activity, and physical fitness components of NHANES. These components include dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) to measure body composition; an expanded physical activity questionnaire to capture activity from transportation, occupation, and household tasks in addition to recreation; and a submaximal treadmill test for cardiovascular fitness. While at NCHS, Dr. Troiano published pivotal papers documenting the dramatic increase in overweight among children and adolescents in the United States.


Chomistek AK, Yuan C, Matthews CE, Troiano RP, Bowles HR, Rood J, Barnett JB, Willett WC, Rimm EB, Bassett DR Jr. Physical activity assessment with the ActiGraph GT3X and doubly labeled water. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2017 Apr 18. [Epub ahead of print]

Matthews CE, Keadle SK, Troiano RP, Kahle L, Koster A, Brychta R, Van Domelen D, Caserotti P, Chen KY, Harris TB, Berrigan D. Accelerometer-measured dose-response for physical activity, sedentary time, and mortality in US adults. Am J Clin Nutr. 2016 Nov;104(5):1424-32.

Wolff-Hughes DL, McClain JJ, Dodd KW, Berrigan D, Troiano RP. Number of accelerometer monitoring days needed for stable group-level estimates of activity. Physiol Meas. 2016 Sep;37(9):1447-55.

Wolff-Hughes DL, Troiano RP, Boyer WR, Fitzhugh EC, McClain JJ. Use of population-referenced total activity counts percentiles to assess and classify physical activity of population groups. Prev Med. 2016 Jun;87:35-40.

Piercy KL, Dorn JM, Fulton JK, Janz KF, Lee SM, McKinnon RA, Pate RR, Pfeiffer KA, Young DR, Troiano RP, Lavizzo-Mourey R. Opportunities for public health to increase physical activity among youths. Am J Public Health. 2015 Mar;105 (3):421-6.

Troiano RP, McClain JJ, Brychta RJ, Chen KY. Evolution of accelerometer methods for physical activity research. Br J Sports Med. 2014 July:48 (13):1019-23.

Tooze JA, Troiano RP, Carroll RJ, Moshfegh AJ, Freedman LS. A measurement error model for physical activity level as measured by a questionnaire with application to the 1999-2006 NHANES questionnaire. Am J Epidemiol. 2013 Jun 1;177 (11):1199-208.

Smith AW, Cronin KA, Bowles H, Willis G, Jacobs DR Jr, Ballard-Barbash R, Troiano RP. Reproducibility of physical activity recall over fifteen years: longitudinal evidence from the CARDIA study. BMC Public Health. 2013 Feb 28;13:180.

Tudor-Locke C, Camhi SM, Troiano RP. A catalog of rules, variables, and definitions applied to accelerometer data in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2003-2006. Prev Chronic Dis. 2012;9:E113.

Haskell WL, Troiano RP, Hammond JA, Phillips MJ, Strader LC, Marquez DX, Grant SF, Ramos E. Physical activity and physical fitness: standardizing assessment with the PhenX Toolkit. Am J Prev Med. 2012 May;42 (5):486-92.

Matthews CE, George SM, Moore SC, Bowles HR, Blair A, Park Y, Troiano RP, Hollenbeck A, Schatzkin A. Amount of time spent in sedentary behaviors and cause-specific mortality in US adults. Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Feb;95 (2):437-45.

Troiano RP, Pettee Gabriel KK, Welk GJ, Owen N, Sternfeld B. Reported physical activity and sedentary behavior: why do you ask? J Phys Act Health. 2012 Jan;9 Suppl 1:S68-75.

Matthews CE, Chen KY, Freedson PS, Buchowski MS, Beech BM, Pate RR, Troiano RP. Amount of time spent in sedentary behaviors in the United States, 2003-2004. Am J Epidemiol. 2008 Apr 1;167(7):875-81.

Troiano RP, Berrigan D, Dodd KW, Mâsse LC, Tilert T, McDowell M. Physical activity in the United States measured by accelerometer. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2008 Jan;40(1):181-8.

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