The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Meaning, motive and reconfiguration: could Activity Theory provide design directions for personal fitness technology?

Meaning, motive and reconfiguration: could Activity Theory provide design directions for personal fitness technology?
Meaning, motive and reconfiguration: could Activity Theory provide design directions for personal fitness technology?
This paper reflects on how Activity Theory might be applied to suggest new design directions for technology that aims to support and promote personal health objectives like fitness or weight loss. We draw on interviews with people who have established fitness practices (running or cycling) and those who use devices like the Fitbit in order to understand how Activity Theory concepts can help to explain aspects of their practice. We draw on existing work in Activity Theory to suggest two new frames. First, an action-meaning frame that encourages us to consider the meaningful motives behind an activity, and to situate in-the-moment instrumental motivation within that meaningful context, second, a cultural-historical frame that encourages us to consider the historicity of personal healthful activity – where our activities came from – and the possible future activities that current activities could be reconfigured into. We suggest possible design approaches – such as designing in support of the ‘activity formation process’ itself, as promising avenues for future research.
Gomer, Richard
71c5969f-2da0-47ab-b2fb-a7e1d07836b1
schraefel, m.c.
ac304659-1692-47f6-b892-15113b8c929f
Gomer, Richard
71c5969f-2da0-47ab-b2fb-a7e1d07836b1
schraefel, m.c.
ac304659-1692-47f6-b892-15113b8c929f

Gomer, Richard and schraefel, m.c. (2021) Meaning, motive and reconfiguration: could Activity Theory provide design directions for personal fitness technology? Body as Starting Point 4: CHI2021 Workshop on inbodied interaction, Online. 11 pp .

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Abstract

This paper reflects on how Activity Theory might be applied to suggest new design directions for technology that aims to support and promote personal health objectives like fitness or weight loss. We draw on interviews with people who have established fitness practices (running or cycling) and those who use devices like the Fitbit in order to understand how Activity Theory concepts can help to explain aspects of their practice. We draw on existing work in Activity Theory to suggest two new frames. First, an action-meaning frame that encourages us to consider the meaningful motives behind an activity, and to situate in-the-moment instrumental motivation within that meaningful context, second, a cultural-historical frame that encourages us to consider the historicity of personal healthful activity – where our activities came from – and the possible future activities that current activities could be reconfigured into. We suggest possible design approaches – such as designing in support of the ‘activity formation process’ itself, as promising avenues for future research.

Text
Inbodied4_paper_4 - Author's Original
Download (128kB)

More information

Published date: 7 May 2021
Venue - Dates: Body as Starting Point 4: CHI2021 Workshop on inbodied interaction, Online, 2021-05-07

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 449335
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/449335
PURE UUID: c3ae7619-1d70-4abb-8089-55c4a7b7a7a0

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 25 May 2021 16:32
Last modified: 25 May 2021 16:32

Export record

Contributors

Author: Richard Gomer
Author: m.c. schraefel

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×