What is it about?

Around the world the ageing population is growing. People are living longer and this generates higher health care costs for governments and communities. Research shows keeping active and healthy is a great way to tackle burgeoning costs of aged care. One group which has not been examined is women over 40 who participate in Scuba diving for leisure and travel. This study presents the first investigation of the lived experiences of older Australian women who dive to stay active, healthy, engaged and motivated.

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Why is it important?

Although older women are not usually thought of as being active or adventurous, this study reveals a dynamic and growing cohort of over 40s who demonstrate changing attitudes and perspectives of ageing over the past fifty years. Finding new ways to keep older women active, connected, challenged and inspired is the goal of many governments. Once new strategies have been identified to attract and interest older active women, planning and policy can be developed to deliver infrastructure and opportunities to enable older community members to get or stay active into their senior years.


This study reveals older women are much more than cheap babysitters, craft group participants or soap opera addicts. Australian women are signing on for diving courses in growing numbers and once certified, have opportunities to travel, learn, and access life changing experiences offered by being trained and certified to dive safely in a range of conditions and depths. This opportunity to adventure beneath the waves has transformative powers turning them from an invisible older women to a crazy adventurous diver, the life of the party with stories of mystery and challenge. Which one would you like to be?

Sally F. Gregory
Southern Cross University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Alive and kicking: the benefits of scuba diving leisure for older Australian women, Annals of Leisure Research, April 2019, Taylor & Francis, DOI: 10.1080/11745398.2019.1605914.
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