Calculated based on number of publications stored in Pure and citations from PlumX

Research activity per year

Personal profile

Personal profile

Professor Rylee Dionigi is interested in how older people’s meanings, leisure practices and ageing experiences are shaped by (and shape) social structures, health professions and practices, dominant cultural and medical discourses of ageing, physical activity and health, as well as current health promotion policies, such as ‘active/healthy/successful ageing’ guidelines targeting older people.

Her research is in the social sciences of Exercise and Sports Science. It is recognised internationally and nationally through her ongoing external research collaborations in Canada, United Kingdom and Australia. The significance of Prof Dionigi's research on sport, health, leisure and ageing lies in its critique of the popular assumption that everyone should remain physically active across his or her life. In broad terms, Dr Dionigi's qualitative research is concerned with socio-cultural and socio-psychological dimensions of sport, physical activity, leisure and ageing in Western societies. Specifically, she is interested in:

  • how older people make sense of themselves and their experiences in the context of sport, leisure, health and ageing;
  • how older exercisers' or athletes' words and actions simultaneously reproduce and resist dominant discourses of ageing, mainstream sport and health promotion; and
  • the positive and negative sociological and psychological implications of the promotion of sport to people across the lifespan, particularly to older people.

Prof Dionigi's research draws on and contributes to theoretical frameworks in the areas of ageing, identity, health, leisure, sport, policy and exercise. She locates and examines stories and experiences of older sport and exercise participants in the context of cultural discourses and/or policies of sport, gender and ageing. Therefore, her research shows how older people can experience a sense of empowerment and resistance, as well as conformity, to stereotypes through their involvement in sport, exercise and leisure. It also highlights the complexities and contradictions inherent in older people's physical activity practices and raises critical questions about what this might mean in the context of current health promotion policies and the ageing of the population. Overall, her work offers a critique of health promotion trajectories across the lifespan and calls for an acceptance of diversity and difference in older age.

Research Interests

  • Socio-cultural and socio-psychological dimensions of ageing, sport and physical activity in Western Societies
  • Healthy ageing and leisure in later life
  • Critiquing health promotion trajectories

Professional Information

External appointments and memberships:

  • Sport & Society Research Network Advisory Board
  • Leisure and Ageing Research Group (LARG)
  • International Coalition for Aging and Physical Activity
  • Active Ageing Community Center Steering Committee (International)
  • Australian and New Zealand Association for Leisure Studies
  • Canadian Association on Gerontology
  • Confederation of Australian Sport (Research collaboration)
  • Adjunct, Graduate School of Kinesiology and Health science, York University, Toronto, Canada
  • The Australian Sociological Association (TASA)
  • Centre for Research and Education in Ageing (University of Newcastle)

Editorial roles on Journals:

  • Deputy Editor of Annals of Leisure Research (since 2018)
  • Associate Editor of Journal of Aging and Physical Activity (since 2020)
  • Associate Editor of Leisure/Loisir (since 2020)



  • Introduction to Sport and Exercise Behaviour
  • Applied Psychology for Sport and Exercise
  • Supporting Clients in Clinical Exercise 

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, University of Newcastle


Award Date: 30 Sept 2004

Bachelor of Social Science (Hons), Charles Sturt University



Dive into the research topics where Rylee Dionigi is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • 1 Similar Profiles

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or