EnhanceFitness DEFT study

EnhanceFitness DEFT Study

FCY is excited to announce that we have partnered with the University of Washington on a DEFT study to evaluate the effectiveness of delivering the EnhanceFitness program remotely versus in-person.

What is EnhanceFitness? EnhanceFitness is an evidence-based group exercise program that
uses simple, easy-to-learn movements that motivate older adults to stay active. All ability levels are accommodated. Exercises focus on cardiovascular endurance, strength, flexibility, and balance, which can help reduce the severity of arthritis symptoms and aid in preventing falls.

EnhanceFitness helps participants overcome the obstacles of living with arthritis. Program data reveals that 35% of participants saw improvement in physical functioning, and 26% experienced decreased falls. The program has also been shown to support fewer hospitalizations for participants vs. nonparticipants.

One prior study showed that adults participating in EnhanceFitness experienced significant improvement over six months in almost every dimension tested. Data shows that participants have significantly increased upper and lower body strength, balance, and mobility. The data is remarkable in that it shows that this program has helped to reduce the incidence of disability by 43% over 18 months for participants who have arthritis. Additionally, data shows that a program like EnhanceFitness may reduce age–related functional decline by 32%.

The Y has successfully run EnhanceFitness classes for the past 10 years at our facility, and this study will allow individuals to take advantage of this program at no cost should they choose to participate.

DEFT stands for Delivery of EnhanceFitness Trial. This 3 day a week class is geared toward older individuals as a means of helping them become more active, energized, and empowered for independent living. The DEFT study will take this a bit further. It will be open to individuals ages 18 and older who have a diagnosis of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, gout or lupus.

Preliminary data suggests that virtual EnhanceFitness classes are feasible and well-accepted by older adults. The trial participants in Franklin County may attend in-person (in Greenfield at the Y or at Mohawk Trail Regional School) or virtual classes. In-person participants will meet at the designated site three times a week for four months. Virtual participants will participate in remote classes via Zoom. Remote classes will also be one-hour held three times a week for four months. As part of the study, participants will be required to complete surveys either online or on paper before classes begin, after completing four months, and then again six and 12 months after finishing classes. Study participants completing all surveys may be compensated $125 for their time.

Study will take place
Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays,
January 29 through May 17 

  • Mohawk Trail Regional High School at 10 am
  • Franklin County’s YMCA at 12 noon
  • Virtually at 12 noon

There is no class fee for participants enrolled in the study. The classes are also available to participants who wish to be separate from the study.

To become part of the study or to learn more, contact our health and wellness director, Jayne Trosin at 413-773-3646 extension 448 or [email protected]