Empowerment through Digital Health Trackers: An Exploration of Indigenous Australian Women and Physical Activity in Leisure Settings

Drawing on a strengths-based empowerment approach and Indigenous traditions of ‘yarning’, this research explores how digital health technologies might contribute to Indigenous Australian women’s increased participation in physical activity in leisure settings. While people have long controlled their bodies, conventionally through diaries and weight scales, digital self-tracking of one’s bodily states and activities continues to expand. No previous studies have addressed how these technologies influence physical activity among this population and there is limited research about Indigenous Australian people’s leisure experiences and the meanings they attribute to them. Accordingly, this research contributes to an under researched area of health and leisure studies concerned with understanding the social, narrative and affective facets of individuals’ practices and experiences. Key findings from the pilot study include intersections between the use of health trackers and Indigenous women’s prioritizing time for leisure, increased physical activity, enhanced health literacy, and greater personal accountability for lifestyle choices.


Journal article

Journal citation

Annals of Leisure Research 18 Mar 2019


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Abstract included in PLA’s Research Connections article in Parks and Leisure Australia Vol 23.2 Winter 2020


Due to copyright restrictions, only the abstract is available


Maxwell, Hazel (Author); Stronach , Megan (Author); O’Shea, Michelle (Author); Pearce , Sonya (Author)


Taylor and Francis online: 2019