Personal profile

Research interests

Martyn Standage is Professor of Psychology, Health, and Applied Science in the Department for Health. He is also the Director of Research for the Department for Health, the Director of the University's Centre for Motivation and Health Behaviour Change, and the REF Lead for Unit of Assessment 24. Martyn received his PhD from the University of Birmingham in 2003.

The major focus of Prof Standage's work is to: (i) map the motivational determinants of adaptive and maintained engagement in health, exercise, sport, organisational, and education settings; and (ii) utilise this information to inform the design, development, and evaluation of interventions targeted at enhancing effective functioning, health, performance, and wellbeing. Professor Standage recently extended his work to also entail a broader interdisciplinary perspective to physical activity, sedentary behaviours, and objective health outcomes (including, integrating motivational perspectives within models that specify multiple levels of influence and across 24-hour periods).

Professor Standage has authored more than 200 publications, with his research being widely cited (>24,000 citations; H-index = 78). A list of these publications can be accessed via this link [List of Publications].  To support his research, Prof Standage has secured grants totalling over £8.5 million from funders such as the Medical Research Council (MRC), Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC), Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), National Institutes for Health Research (NIHR), The British Academy, and The Leverhulme Trust. Findings from Professor Standage's empirical research have also contributed to 4* Impact Case Studies in REF2014 and REF2021.  

Martyn currently serves as the Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, he is a former Associate Editor for Motivation and Emotion (2010-2017), and has sat on the Editorial Boards of several internationally-leading peer-review journals. Prof Standage was a member of the Implementation and Surveillance Expert Working Group for the 2019 Chief Medical Officer's UK physical activity guidelines. He was also a member of the Development Team for Public Health England's 'Moving Medicine' work that is conducted in liaison with the Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine and an expert panel member for Sport England's 'National Physical Literacy Consensus for England' project. Martyn is the Chief Scientific Officer for Active Healthy Kids England which produces a national 'report card' for the 'state of the nation' regarding children and adolescence physical activity. Prof. Standage is a member of the Peer-Review College of the ESRC and regularly sits on grant panels nationally and internationally.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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