College of Education and Human Development - George Mason University

Dr. Risto Marttinen
EdD, Teachers College Columbia University
Associate Professor
Physical Education, Advanced Studies in Teaching and Learning
Health and Physical Education

Contact Information

Send email to Dr. Marttinen

Phone: (703) 993-7109
Fax: (703) 993-2025
Email: rmarttin (

Risto Marttinen's website

George Mason University
Fairfax Campus
RAC 2109
4400 University Dr.
MS 1F6
Fairfax, VA 22030


My research revolves around implementing sustainable and educational after-school physical education programs in elementary and middle schools. These programs specialize in sports and fitness in under-served communities while reinforcing character development and teaching STEM and common-core literacy skills. Additionally, I conduct research on teaching in physical education and research on the integration of academic subjects and technology into PE. 

Research Interests

After-School Phyiscal Activity Programs in under-served and urban communities 

Integartion of STEM, and Literacy in to Phyiscal Education and After-School Programs

Research on Teaching in Phyiscal Education 

Student Attitude in Physical Education 

Youth Sport Retention (wrestling)

Recent Publications

Marttinen, R., Meza, B., & Flory, S. B. (in press) Stereotypical views of beauty and boys STILL not letting girls play: Co-creating a curriculum for young girls through an after-school activist approach. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education.

Marttinen, R., Simon, M., Phillips, S. & Fredrick, R.N. (in press). Latina elementary school girls’ experiences in an urban after-school physical education and literacy program. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education.

Phillips, S., Marttinen, R., Mercier, K., & Gibbone, A. (in press) Middle school students’ perceptions of physical education: A qualitative look. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education.

Marttinen, R., Landi, D., Silverman, S., & Novak, D. (in press). A systematic analysis of research on teaching in physical education: Two decades of progress. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education.

Simon, M., Marttinen, R., & Phillips, S. (2020). Marginalized girls’ gendered experiences within a constructivist afterschool program (REACH). Sport Education and Society. (on-line first)

Marttinen, R., Johnston, K., Flory, S., & Meza, B.* (2020). Enacting a body-focused curriculum with young girls through an activist approach: Leveraging the after-school space. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy.

Landi, D., Flory, S., Safron, C*., & Marttinen, R. (2020). LGBTQ research in physical education: A rising tide? Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 25(3), 259-273.

Millar, N. A.*, Colenso-Semple, L. M., Lockie, R., Marttinen, R., & Galpin, A. (2020) In season hip thrust vs. back squat training in female high school soccer players. International Journal of Exercise Science. 13(4), 49-61.

Marttinen, R., Daum, D., Banville, D., & Fredrick, R. (2020). Pre-service teachers learning through service-learning in a low SES school. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 25(1), 1-15.

McAlister, K.,* Fisher, K., Wilson, K., & Marttinen, R. (2020). Correlation and wear-time compliance of the wrist-worn SQORD activity monitor compared to the Actigraph 3TGX in measuring free-living physical activity in low SES elementary youth. Californian Journal of Health Promotion, 17(2), 28-40.

Meza, B.,* & Marttinen, R. (2019). The GIRL Curriculum: Co-constructing learning about body image through empowering after-school programming. Journal of Youth Development, 14(4), 216-231. DOI:10.5195/jyd.2019.771

Marttinen, R., Landi, D, Fredrick, R., & Silverman, S. (2019 on-line first). Wearable digital technology in PE: Advantages, barriers and teachers’ ideologies. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education.

Marttinen, R., Fredrick, R., Johnston, K., Phillips, S., & Patterson, D. (2019) Implementing the REACH after-school program for youth in urban communities: Challenges and lessons learned. European Physical Education Review.

Marttinen, R., Johnston, K., Phillips, S., Fredrick, R., & Meza, B*. (2019). REACH Harlem: Young urban boys experiences in an after-school PA positive youth development program. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 24(4), 373-389.

Marttinen, R., Daum, D., Fredrick, R, Santiago, J., & Silverman, S. (2019). Students’ perceptions of technology integration during the F.I.T. Unit. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 90(2), 206-216.

Johnston, K., Marttinen, R., Fredrick, R., & Bhat, V. (2019). Girl’s experiences in a PYD sport program: Developing a participant-centered space. Journal of Youth Development, 14(1), 93-111.

Ambegaonkar, J. P., Pierce, C., Cortes, N., Marttinen, R., & Caswell, S. (2018). Physical activity and enjoyment during dance-focused physical education classes in middle school girls. International Journal of Physical Education, 55(4), 23-34.

Marttinen, R., Fredrick, R., & Silverman, S. (2018) Changes in student attitude toward physical education across a unit of instruction. Journal of Physical Education and Sport, 18(1), 62-70.

Marttinen, R., Fredrick, R., & Silverman, S. (2018) Middle school students’ physical activity levels during a fitness integrated with technology unit. Montenegrin Journal of Sport Science and Medicine, 7(1), 5-12.

Montgomery, M., Marttinen, R., Galpin, A. (2017) Comparison of body fat results from 4 bioelectrical impedance analysis devices vs. air displacement plethysmography in American adolescent wrestlers. International Journal of Kinesiology and Sports Science, 5(4), 18-25

Marttinen, R., Fredrick, R., Villanueva, A.,* & Novak, D. (2017). A review of research on teaching in physical education pedagogy 2014-2015. International Journal of Physical Education, 54(1),13-21

Azzarito, L., Simon, M., & Marttinen, R. (2017). “Up against Whiteness”: Rethinking race and the body in a global era. Sport Education and Society 22(5), 635-657

Marttinen, R., & Fredrick. R. (2017). R.E.A.C.H: A case for after school physical education. Strategies, 30(1), 8-14.

Marttinen, R., Vernikoff, L., Phillips, S., & Fletcher, N. (2017). Physical activity, screen time, and obesity: A statistical inquiry into Latino/a youth. Californian Journal of Health Promotion, 15(1), 27-35

Phillips, S. R., Mercier, K., & Marttinen, R. (2017). Fitness testing: Recommendations for a useful and enjoyable student experience. Strategies 30(5), 19-24.

Marttinen, R., McLoughlin, G., Fredrick III, R. F., & Novak, D. (2017). Integration and physical education: A review of research. Quest, 69(1), 37-49

Azzarito, L., Simon, M., & Marttinen, R. (2016). “Stop photoshopping!”: A visual participatory inquiry into students responses to a body curriculum. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 35(1) 54-69.

            ***Winner of 2016 JTPE Metzler-Freedman Exemplary Paper Award***