Mary Ann Wilson

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Using a workout shawl, Mary Ann Wilson from the PBS television show Sit and Be Fit, demonstrates how to increase range of motion.

Mary Ann Wilson is an American registered nurse in the field of geriatrics and post-polio rehabilitation, and exercise instructor. She is also the founder and host of the award winning exercise show Sit and Be Fit, which is broadcast on over 100 PBS television stations across the United States.

In 1987, Wilson started the PBS show Sit and Be Fit which includes a variety of exercises for the elderly and people with limited mobility. The show revolves around exercises that can be done while sitting in or using a chair, with little effort.[1]


Wilson's idea for Sit and Be Fit came in 1985 while she was teaching an adult aerobics class and noticed her clients suffering numerous injuries and attrition. Wilson then began to see a vast improvement in the health and well being of the students and began a trek to have her idea spread on a national level. So in 1987, KSPS-TV agreed to air her show and distributed 30 episodes nationwide.

Wilson has so far produced 220 episodes and 24 home video workouts. Wilson has also written several fitness manuals and has written several columns on health in the aging community.

Along with doing her show, Wilson also offers a variety of seminars and lectures to health care professionals, caregivers and doctors at hospitals around the United States. Wilson has also been a spokesperson for her exercises and expertise at several national and international health conferences.

Wilson is also a teacher, attending nursing and retirement homes whenever possible, in an attempt to develop new exercises for her program.

Wilson's current activities and history include:

  • Registered Nurse
  • Executive Producer/Host, SIT AND BE FIT television series
  • Executive Director/Founder, SIT AND BE FIT non-profit organization
  • Nationally certified by ACE (American Council on Exercise)
  • Member, ASA (American Society on Aging)
  • Member, NCOA (National Council on the Aging)
  • Member, SFA (American Senior Fitness Association) National Advisory Board
  • Member, FEOAA (Fitness Educators Of Active Adults)
  • Presenter, IDEA Conventions: 1987, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1995, 1996
  • Presenter, 1st International Conference, Prevention: the Key Health for Life, 1994
  • Presenter, 4th International Congress, Physical Activity, Aging and Sports, Heidelberg, Germany, 1996[2]