Fit and Strong!
Shortcut Navigation:
Change Text Size: A A A

Fit and Strong!

Learn More

Download the program summary.

Visit the Fit & Strong! website.

Developed by: University of Illinois at Chicago
Program Administrator: Sue Hughes,
Year Program First Implemented: 1996


Fit and Strong! combines flexibility, strength training and aerobic walking with health education for sustained behavior change among older adults with lower extremity osteoarthritis (OA).  Fit & Strong! works with providers across the country to deliver an eight-week program that improves lower extremity stiffness, lower extremity pain, lower extremity strength, aerobic capacity, participation in exercise and caloric expenditure, and self-efficacy for exercise.

Supporting Evidence: 

A randomized, controlled trial was conducted with 80 participants. Relative to the persons in the control group, individuals who participated in the exercise program experienced a statistically significant improvement in exercise efficacy, a 48.5% increase in exercise adherence, and a 13.3% increase in 6-min distance walk that were accompanied by significant decreases in lower extremity stiffness at 2 and 6 months. Program participants also experienced a significant decrease in lower extremity pain and a borderline significant improvement in efficacy to adhere to exercise over time at 6 months (p =.052). In contrast, persons in the control group deteriorated over time on the efficacy and adherence measures and showed no change on the other measures. No adverse health effects were encountered.


Hughes SL, Seymour RB, Campbell R, Pollak N, Huber G, Sharma L. Impact of the Fit and Strong Intervention on Older Adults With Osteoarthritis. The Gerontologist. (2004) 44 (2):217-228. [Online]:





want to sign up

Get the latest news on health, economic security, and advocacy for older adults.

Sign Up

Online Training


Introduction to Health Promotion Programs for Older Adults
Take our interactive training modules on evidence-based health promotion for older adults.