Describing a Design Thinking Methodology to Develop Sustainable Physical Activity and Nutrition Interventions in Low Resourced Settings

  • Chrisna Botha-RavyseEmail author
  • Susan Crichton
  • Sarah J. Moss
  • Susanna M. Hanekom
Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 907)


The objective of the study is to describe how design thinking as a participatory process can be applied in determining how sustainable physical activity and nutrition interventions should be implemented in a low resourced community in South Africa. Physical inactivity is the 4th leading cause of mortality world-wide. Associated with inactivity, a high prevalence of obesity is reported. Evidence based research indicate that sustainable physical activity and nutrition interventions will reduce the burden of physical inactivity and obesity. Poverty, and its inherent lack of food security, further impacts the health of people living marginalized, increasingly urban lifestyles. The intent of the project is to change attitudes and behavior towards physical activity participation and nutrition choices. Design Thinking is typically implemented using a five-step process where the community is engaged with presenting the problem they experience, defining the problem, presenting solutions to the problem and finally developing a prototype in solving the problem they experience. The principle of the Design Thinking process is that the low resourced community holds part of the answer to the problem and has a desire to change their health. The proposed solutions, coming directly from the participants, are therefore considered viable. Once a desired prototype is developed and tested in the community, feasibility can be determined. The presence of these three factors, is expected to result in an innovation.


Design thinking Feasibility Viability Desirability Innovation Low-resourced communities Physical activity Nutrition 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Health Sciences, Physical Activity, Sport and Recreation Research AreaNorth-West UniversityPotchefstroomSouth Africa
  2. 2.Faculty of EducationUniversity of British ColumbiaKelownaCanada
  3. 3.Center for Health Professions Education, North-West UniversityPotchefstroomSouth Africa

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