Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Designing a digital application to promote physical activity amongst the Samoan population in New Zealand

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posted on 2021-12-09, 11:24 authored by Pio, Tanielu

This research addresses the problem that many Samoan people face in New Zealand. Obesity is described as an excessively high amount of body fat to the extent that health is adversely affected (Ministry of Health, 2019). Obesity is related to significant health problems, considerable health costs, and increased risk of early death in the New Zealand population (Wilson, Wilson & Russell, 2001). In New Zealand, the Samoan community has been impacted the most from the vast variety of the Pacific population. There is an ongoing study that the reason for Samoans having a high percentage of people suffering from obesity could possibly be linked to a genetic disorder (Sundborn et al., 2010). Scientists discovered that there is a possible reason for Samoans to be obese which explained why 80 percent of Samoan men and 91 of Samoan women were overweight or obese, although it was not the dominant factor (Sundborn et al., 2010). This design research aims to create an interactive activity tracking app that will help engage and raise awareness of obesity, creating a solution to a healthy lifestyle tailored to the Samoan community. Being able to create such an app to enable physical activity must have the essential tools in order for the app to be functional and effective. The design model for this app is based on four themes: the five elements of interaction design, self determination theory, design narrative, and the Pacific methodology of Tafatolu. Based on these four themes, a digital application for the promotion of physical exercise will be designed and tested with users. Final results will help to expand the knowledge on digital design and user experience for the Samoan population in New Zealand.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Design Innovation

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Design Innovation

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code


Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Design Innovation


Fridman, Dana