department of kinesiology

25 Independence Way, Kingston, RI 02881


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Christie Ward-Ritacco

  • Assistant Professor
  • Kinesiology
  • Phone: 401-874-5638
  • Email:
  • Office Location: Independence Square, Suite N, Room 230B


Dr. Ward-Ritacco’s research focuses on the independent and interactive effects of physical activity, nutrition, and body composition on quality of life, with particular interest in physical function and feelings of energy and fatigue. She also has research experience investigating the role of dietary supplementation on resting metabolic rate and cognitive performance. Prior to completing her doctoral training, Dr. Ward-Ritacco worked as a clinical exercise physiologist in a hospital based cardiopulmonary rehabilitation and wellness center. Dr. Ward-Ritacco is an American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Certified Exercise Physiologist (2005-present). She serves as a member of the ACSM Committee on Certification and Registry Boards – Certified Exercise Physiologist Committee (2012 – present) and is the Rhode Island state representative for New England Chapter of the ACSM.


Physical activity and exercise; nutrition; body composition; quality of life; physical function; mood states; cognitive performance; application of physical activity to women’s health across the lifespan


Post-Doctoral Training, Kinesiology (Exercise Psychology), University of Georgia

Ph.D., Kinesiology (Exercise Physiology), University of Georgia

M.S., Exercise Science, University of Rhode Island

B.S., Health and Exercise Science, Wake Forest University


Fedewa MV, Hathaway ED, Ward-Ritacco CL. Effect of exercise training on C reactive protein: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised and non-randomised controlled trials. Br J Sports Med. 2017 Apr; 51(8): 670-676.

Ward-Ritacco CL, Poudevigne MS, O’Connor PJ. Muscle strengthening exercises during pregnancy are associated with increased energy and reduced fatigue. J Psychosom Obstet Gynaecol. 2016;37(2):68-72. doi: 10.3109/0167482X.2016.1155552.

Lay WA, Vickery CR, Ward-Ritacco CL, Johnson KB, Berg AC, Evans EM, Johnson MA. Comparison of Intake of Animal and Plant Foods and Related Nutrients in Postmenopausal Breast Cancer Survivors and Controls. J Nutr Gerontol Geriatr. 2016;35(1):15-31. doi: 10.1080/21551197.2015.1084258.

Straight CR, Ward-Ritacco CL, Evans EM. Association between accelerometer-measured physical activity and muscle capacity in middle-aged postmenopausal women. Menopause. 2015 Nov;22(11):1204-11.

Ward-Ritacco CL, Adrian AL, O’Connor PJ, Johnson MJ, Rogers LQ, Evans EM. Feelings of energy are associated with physical activity and sleep quality, but not adiposity, in middle-aged postmenopausal women. Menopause. 2015 Mar;22(3):304-11. doi: 10.1097/GME.0000000000000315.

Adrian AL, O’Connor PJ, Ward-Ritacco CL, Evans EM. Physical activity, pain responses to heat stimuli, and conditioned pain modulation in postmenopausal women with and without disabling pain. Menopause. 2015;22(8):816-25. doi: 10.1097/GME.0000000000000398.

Ward CL, Valentine RJ, Evans EM. Body composition and physical activity are related with performance measures of physical function in community-dwelling older adults. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity. 2014;22(2):284-293.

Ward-Ritacco CL, Adrian AL, Johnson MJ, Rogers LQ, Evans EM. Adiposity, physical activity and muscle quality are independently associated with physical function in middle-aged postmenopausal women. Menopause. 2014;21(10):1114-21. doi: 10.1097/GME.0000000000000225.

Ward CL, Suh Y, Lane AD, Yan H, Ranadive S, Fernhall B, Motl R, Evans EM. Body composition influences physical function in persons with Multiple Sclerosis. Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development. 2013;50(8):1139-47. doi: 10.1682/JRRD.2012.08.0144.

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