Research Delivers Innovation

The Reh-Fit Centre began as a result of a few bold doctors who thought that exercise might be good for their patients. These weren’t ordinary patients, they had just had heart surgery. At the time, the standard care after heart surgery was several weeks in hospital followed by ‘taking it easy’ at home. It turns out that those bold doctors were right. Exercise is good for all of us even if we have diabetes, arthritis, weight management issues, or heart disease. Over thirty years later, we are all living: ‘Exercise is Medicine’.

The Reh-Fit supports research to continually improve the effectiveness of our health and fitness programs in building community health. Findings can also lead to advances in the scientific knowledge base of disease prevention and rehabilitation. As Reh-Fit grew to the 86,000 square foot facility which serves over 4,500 members and 10,000 non-members annually, innovation became embedded in the Centre’s Mission, Vision and Core Values.

Innovation does not happen by doing what everybody else does. It is the application of new solutions to meet changing needs. There are few fields where needs are changing more quickly than they are in disease prevention and management. As a result, creative and effective solutions are always being sought. This is why the Reh-Fit Centre is developing its capacity to conduct and host scientifically sound research studies.

Research Setting

The Reh-Fit Centre hosts and collaborates on a variety of research studies. Applications are reviewed to ensure that the studies are consistent with the Centre’s mission and vision. Applications are also evaluated for Ethics approval, PHIA compliance, adequate funding, and equipment and staff requirements.


There are five primary goals of research at the Reh-Fit Centre:

  1. Evaluation of existing programs and the prospective outcomes of new programs.
  2. Preparation and scientific examination of data on Reh-Fit Centre members.
  3. Establishment of effective liaisons with appropriate University faculties.
  4. Enhancement of the Centre’s integrity/credibility in lifestyle and cardiovascular disease management within the medical/government communities.
  5. Advance the scientific knowledge base on prevention and rehabilitation.

The Reh-Fit Centre provides, where feasible and ethically acceptable, the opportunity to host research to ensure the maintenance and ongoing development of high standards of operations and care at the Centre.

Proposals are accepted for review from a variety of sources, including:

  • Faculties of recognized universities
  • Hospitals
  • Multi-centered organizations

A New Way to Approach Research

At Reh-Fit, we provide the opportunity to move research from the lab to the community. Reh-Fit is a unique research setting as it is community-based and provides access to participants and programming for a wide range of health and fitness levels. The Centre has the facility, programs, and staff to collaborate on and conduct research studies related to most health and fitness dimensions.

Research at the Reh-Fit Centre

The Reh-Fit Centre is currently recruiting for the following research studies.

Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba

The Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba is looking for adults who have diabetes to participate in an Exercise Study. Many people living with type 2 diabetes struggle to understand and control their blood sugar levels throughout the day. Reliance on HbA1C, fasting glucose or glucose tolerance tests are useful tests but do not allow us to follow fluctuations in blood sugars on a day to day basis. We are interested in examining the blood sugar response to exercise using continuous glucose monitoring systems, which measure and record your blood sugar every five minutes.

Participants will be asked to:

  • Consume meals provided for four of six intervention days
  • Wear a continuous glucose monitoring system and physical activity monitor for six days
  • Complete lifestyle questionnaires and provide results from their latest blood test
  • Complete two intervention sessions:
    • – Moderate walking session for 50 minutes in the lab
    • – Seated session for 50 minutes in the lab

We are looking for participants with type 2 diabetes between the ages of 20 and 90 years, with no history of heart disease, stroke or kidney disease. If you are interested in participating, please contact Nika at 204-789-3591 or Thank you!


University of Manitoba

The University of Manitoba is looking for stroke survivors to participate in a research study.

Have you had a stroke? Do your activity levels and social activities change depending on the weather? We would like to find out!

About the study…

  • Researchers at the University of Manitoba want to know how participation in the community is affected by changes in weather and time of year for people who have had a stroke.
  • Participants will be assessed in their home at two times, winter and summer. Each time, they will answer four questionnaires and do a quick walking test inside their home. The four questionnaires take approximately 40 minutes to complete.
  • Participants will be asked to wear an activity monitor for 1 week in summer and 1 week in winter to see how active they are.
  • Participants may be asked to be part of a 1-hour interview in their home in winter and summer.

We hope the information learned from this study will benefit other people with stroke in the future and tell us more about how weather affects people following a stroke.

If you are interested in being involved in the study, please contact research assistants Derek or Oyin at 204-787-8015.


Help us Make Shoulder Dysfunction Disappear

Recording Muscles in Motion – Measure Your Shoulder Today

Are you a healthy male or female over the age of 65 who would like to help advance the field of Shoulder Arthroplasty Surgery? Then this study is for you!

We are analyzing shoulder muscle activity to map out the differences between healthy volunteers, those with rotator cuff disease, and individuals who have undergone a reverse shoulder replacement. We are looking for healthy volunteers to provide baseline data of how a healthy shoulder behaves under simulated movements. We then will compare and map changes in shoulder activity during rotator cuff disease and subsequently once cured with a shoulder replacement.

In order to know where we need to go, we need to know where we’ve been and that’s where YOU can help!

The study will be based out of the Pan Am Clinic as well as the Rehab Engineering Hospital at the Health Sciences Center here in Winnipeg.

Inclusion Criteria:

  • 65 and older
  • No previous stroke, radiculopathy, or neurologic deficit to upper extremities
  • Can walk for more the 4 blocks without shortness of breath
  • Does not require mobility aids
  • No prior shoulder surgery
  • Does not have osteoarthritis of the shoulder
  • Can understand and follow instructions in English
  • Can give informed consent to medical procedures

If interested, contact Dr. Graeme Matthewson at 306-261-5588 or for further details and to be included in the study.

We look forward to your participation.


Interested in Collaborating with Reh-Fit?

Please contact our Research Analyst at 204-488-8023