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Bik C. Chow

The purpose of the research was to study the transitional experiences of elite female athletes who are going through the process of athletic retirement. Using a life history approach, six former and six current athletes in Hong Kong were interviewed. Semi-structured interviews were utilized based on the Schlossberg’s (1981, 1984) transition model. Data were analyzed using typology and constant comparison methods. Diversity and commonality in the experiences of women withdrawing from elite sports competition were found. The life history approach was effective in illustrating the ways in which Hong Kong female athletes feel and think about career end, with a transition from competition to retirement evident as part of career passing. Content analysis of interviews revealed several salient themes related to sports retirement. Key distinctions across projected and experienced retirement were associated with a woman’s being an immigrant athlete, entering early into sport, and pursuing an education. Athlete status also affected transition to retirement and lifestyle after an elite sports career.

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Bik C. Chow, Thomas L. McKenzie and Lobo Louie

Physical activity engagement during physical education is important for many reasons, including developing physical fitness and movement skills and promoting health. Much more is known about physical activity in elementary than secondary schools. We examined physical activity and how it was influenced by instructor-related and environmental characteristics during 238 lessons taught by 65 physical education specialists in 30 randomly selected secondary schools in Hong Kong. Trained observers used SOFIT (System for Observing Fitness Instruction Time) in randomly selected grade 7–12 classes over a 6-month period. Results showed students engaged in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) about 35% of lesson time, a level similar to that found in U.S. elementary schools and short of the U.S. Healthy People 2010 objective of 50% engagement time. Multiple regression analyses found that six potentially modifiable variables contributed to 35% of the variability in lesson MVPA percent.

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Bik C. Chow, Thomas L. McKenzie and Lobo Louie

Physical activity (PA) during physical education is important for health purposes and for developing physical fitness and movement skills. To examine PA levels and how PA was influenced by environmental and instructor-related characteristics, we assessed children’s activity during 368 lessons taught by 105 physical education specialists in 42 randomly selected schools in Hong Kong. Trained observers used SOFIT in randomly selected classes, grades 4–6, during three climatic seasons. Results indicated children’s PA levels met the U.S. Healthy People 2010 objective of 50% engagement time and were higher than comparable U.S. populations. Multiple regression analyses revealed that temperature, teacher behavior, and two lesson characteristics (subject matter and mode of delivery) were significantly associated with the PA levels. Most of these factors are modifiable, and changes could improve the quantity and intensity of children’s PA.