I START: Improving Strength Training and Tailoring Among People with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Lift, love, live. Strength training that you enjoy for a healthier lifestyle.

The Problem

We know that having strong muscles is important for people with rheumatoid arthritis, but fewer than 14% of people with rheumatoid arthritis regularly do strength training exercises, even among those with well-controlled disease.

The Solution

Strength training has a lot of important benefits for people with rheumatoid arthritis. In addition to reducing pain and fatigue, it also lowers the risk for cardiovascular disease, a leading cause of death in this population.

What the Study will do

The I START project is aimed at finding out what helps people with rheumatoid arthritis to take up and maintain strength training and develop effective strategies to empower people to take part in this type of activity in order to improve their health.

The Research Study

In collaboration with Arthritis Research Canada’s Arthritis Patient Advisory Board members, this project will:


  • Summarize the research on how to increase strength training participation, and how to customize physical activity prescriptions to the individual. 
  • Interview people with rheumatoid arthritis to gain a better understanding of how we can help promote strength training and better prescribe physical activity that strengthens muscles. 
  • Based on this information, we will develop a toolkit to help clinicians and patients improve strength training participation and physical activity programs that are a good fit for each individual.

Research Scientist

Jasmin Ma PhD, P.Kin

Jasmin Ma PhD, P.Kin

Clinician Investigator

Dr. Jasmin Ma is an assistant professor of teaching in the School of Kinesiology at the University of British Columbia. She teaches and provides training in the areas of exercise prescription, physical activity behaviour change, and disability.

Her research and educational leadership activities include three areas of focus: 1) implementing experiential learning opportunities in community-based exercise settings, 2) co-developing knowledge translation tools for clinicians to promote and prescribe physical activity for people with chronic disease and disability, and 3) advancing the methodology of physical activity counselling and tailoring, particularly for people with arthritis and spinal cord injury.

Want to support this and other life-changing arthritis research projects?