College of Education and Human Development - George Mason University

Dr. Risto Marttinen
Ed.D., Teachers College Columbia University
Assistant Professor
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***