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Anthony D. Mahon, Megan E. Woodruff, Mary P. Horn, Andrea D. Marjerrison and Andrew S. Cole

The effect of stimulant medication use by children with attention deficit/hyper-activity disorder (ADHD) on the rating of perceived exertion (RPE)—heart rate (HR) relationship was examined. Children with ADHD (n = 20; 11.3 ± 1.8 yrs) and children without ADHD (n = 25; 11.2 ± 2.1 yrs) were studied. Children with ADHD were examined while on their usual dose of medication on the day of study. HR and RPE, using the OMNI RPE scale, were assessed during a graded exercise to peak voluntary effort. The RPE-HR relationship was determined individually and the intercept and slope responses were compared between groups. The intercept was 132.4 ± 19.5 bpm for children with ADHD and 120.6 ± 15.7 bpm for children without ADHD. The slope was 7.3 ± 1.9 bpm/RPE for the children with ADHD and 8.1 ± 1.6 bpm/RPE for the children without ADHD. For the group with ADHD the intercept and slope values fell outside of the 95% CI observed in the control group. The altered relationship between RPE and HR with stimulant medication use in children with ADHD has practical implications with respect to the use of HR and RPE to monitor exercise intensity.

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Renato Barroso, Ronaldo K. Cardoso, Everton Crivoi Carmo and Valmor Tricoli

Session rating of perceived exertion (SRPE) is a practical method to assess internal training load to provide appropriate stimuli. However, coaches and athletes might rate training sessions differently, which can impair performance development. In addition, SRPE might be influenced by athletes’ training experience. The authors studied 160 swimmers of different age groups and different competitive swimming experience and 9 coaches. SRPE was indicated by the swimmers 30 min after the end of a training session and before the training session by the coaches. Training-session intensities were classified into easy (SRPE <3), moderate (SRPE 3–5), and difficult (SRPE >5), based on coaches’ perception. We observed that the correlation between coaches’ and athletes’ SRPE increased with increased age and competitive swimming experience, r = .31 for the 11- to 12-y-old group (P < .001), r = .51 for the 13- to 14-y-old group (P < .001), and r = .74 for the 15- to 16-y-old group (P < .001). In addition, younger swimmers (11–12 y, P < .01; 13–14 y, P < .01) rated training intensity differently from coaches in all 3 categories (easy, moderate, and difficult), while the older group rated differently in only 1 category (difficult, P < .01). These findings suggest that the more experienced swimmers are, the more accurate their SRPE is.

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Laura Guidetti, Antonio Sgadari, Cosme F. Buzzachera, Marianna Broccatelli, Alan C. Utter, Fredric L. Goss and Carlo Baldari

This study examined the concurrent and construct validity of the OMNI-Cycle Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) Scale, using elderly men and women. Seventy-six participants performed a load-incremented cycle-ergometer exercise test. Concurrent validity was determined by correlating OMNI-RPE responses with oxygen uptake, relative peak oxygen uptake, pulmonary ventilation, heart rate, respiratory rate, and respiratory-exchange ratio during a load-incremented cycle-ergometer protocol. Construct validity was established by correlating RPE derived from the OMNI-Cycle Scale with RPE from the Borg (6–20) Scale. Multilevel, mixed linear-regression models indicated that OMNI-RPE distributed as a significant (p < .05) positive linear function (r = .81–.92) for all physiological measures. OMNI-RPE was positively (p < .01) and linearly related to Borg-RPE in elderly men (r = .97) and women (r = .96). This study demonstrates both concurrent and construct validity of the OMNI-Cycle RPE Scale. These findings support the use of this scaling metric with elderly men and women to estimate RPE during cycle-ergometer exercise.

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Thomas J. Birk and Marianne Mossing

The purpose of this study was to determine whether heart rate and ventilation can be predicted from RPE. Also, this study determined whether breathing or heart rate sensations caused perceived effort or strain (degree of perceived central strain). Eight ambulatory active teenagers (ages 13-16 years, M= 14.75) with spastic cerebral palsy performed a discontinuous maximum bicycle ergometer protocol. Rate of perceived exertion (RPE), heart rate (HR) (V5 lead), and V̇E (Wright respirometer) were recorded each minute. Results indicated that Minutes 1 and 2 of Stage 1 were significantly correlated for RPE and ventilation, and RPE and heart rate were significantly correlated for Minutes 3 and 4 of Stages 1 and 2. Low standard error of estimates values were also evident for each of these minutes wherein significant correlations resulted. Initially, pulmonary strain was perceived as greater than HR for a given RPE value. However, by the conclusion of the second stage, breathing was slightly less than cardiac strain. Results suggest that RPE can be used to predict heart rate after the 2nd minute of discontinuous exercise training or testing. The accurate estimation of ventilation for the initial minutes of exercise may be limited since some anxiety, secondary to hyperventilation, could result. Also, breathing is perceived as a greater strain than heart rate initially but appears to equal and be slightly lower at the conclusion of aerobic exercise.

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David R. Dolbow, Richard S. Farley, Jwa K. Kim and Jennifer L. Caputo

The purpose of this study was to examine the cardiovascular responses to water treadmill walking at 2.0 mph (3.2 km/hr), 2.5 mph (4.0 km/hr), and 3.0 mph (4.8 km/hr) in older adults. Responses to water treadmill walking in 92 °F (33 °C) water were compared with responses to land treadmill walking at 70 °F (21 °C) ambient temperature. After an accommodation period, participants performed 5-min bouts of walking at each speed on 2 occasions. Oxygen consumption (VO2), heart rate (HR), systolic blood pressure (SBP), and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) were significantly higher during therapeutic water treadmill walking than during land treadmill walking. Furthermore, VO2, HR, and RPE measures significantly increased with each speed increase during both land and water treadmill walking. SBP significantly increased with each speed during water treadmill walking but not land treadmill walking. Thus, it is imperative to monitor HR and blood pressure for safety during this mode of activity for older adults.

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Ryosuke Shigematsu, Linda M. Ueno, Masaki Nakagaichi, Hosung Nho and Kiyoji Tanaka

The purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy of rate of perceived exertion (RPE) to monitor exercise intensity in older adults. Middle-aged (46.9 ± 7.0 years, n = 24) and older women (75.5 ± 3.8 years, n = 29) performed a graded maximal exercise test on a cycle ergometer while RPE, oxygen uptake, heart rate, and blood lactate levels were measured. The Pearson’s product-moment correlation coefficient between RPE and oxygen uptake for each stage of the graded exercise test was calculated for each participant. The mean coefficient for the older group (r = .954) was similar to that of middle-aged group (r = .963). The autocorrelation coefficient was much lower (r = .411) in the older group than in the middle-aged group (r = .871). Variability in RPE through the graded exercise test was similar between the two groups. In conclusion, RPE was strongly associated with oxygen uptake in the older group. These results indicate that RPE is effective in monitoring exercise intensity in older adults.

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John G. Williams, Roger G. Eston and Clare Stretch

This study examined the ability of 40 children (20 boys and 20 girls), ages 11 to 14 years, to regulate the intensity of their effort using perceived effort ratings during cycling. The Borg Rating of Perceived Exertion 6 to 20 Scale was learned and used as a perceptual frame of reference. Maximal oxygen uptake and power output were predicted from telemetered heart rate data collected during a submaximal graded exercise test. Subjects were then fully familiarized with the RPE scale and attended three consecutive sessions of cycling during which they adjusted the workloads themselves so as to produce effort intensities for scale ratings of 9 (very light), 13 (somewhat hard), and 17 (very hard). Heart rates were sampled during the final half minute of each session and the data were submitted to a mixed factorial analysis of variance. This showed highly significant differences (p<.001) between the three RPE levels but no significant effects for age, gender, or trials. It was concluded that the RPE is readily learned by older children and adolescents and is a potentially useful frame of reference when self-regulating effort intensity during vigorous exercise.

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Kelly R. Rice, Catherine Gammon, Karin Pfieffer and Stewart Trost

Purpose:

The OMNI perceived exertion scale was developed for children to report perceived effort while performing physical activity; however no studies have formally examined age-related differences in validity. This study evaluated the validity of the OMNI-RPE in 4 age groups performing a range of lifestyle activities.

Methods:

206 participants were stratified into four age groups: 6-8 years (n = 42), 9-10 years (n = 46), 11-12 years (n = 47), and 13-15 years (n = 71). Heart rate and VO2 were measured during 11 activity trials ranging in intensity from sedentary to vigorous. After each trial, participants reported effort from the OMNI walk/run scale. Concurrent validity was assessed by calculating within-subject correlations between OMNI ratings and the two physiological indices.

Results:

The average correlation between OMNI ratings and VO2 was 0.67, 0.77, 0.85, and 0.87 for the 6-8, 9-10, 11-12 and 13-15 y age groups, respectively.

Conclusion:

The OMNI RPE scale demonstrated fair to good evidence of validity across a range of lifestyle activities among 6- to 15-year-old children. The validity of the scale appears to be developmentally related with RPE reports closely reflecting physiological responses among children older than 8 years.

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Shaun J. McLaren, Michael Graham, Iain R. Spears and Matthew Weston

Purpose:

To investigate the sensitivity of differential ratings of perceived exertion (dRPE) as measures of internal load.

Methods:

Twenty-two male university soccer players performed 2 maximal incremental-exercise protocols (cycle, treadmill) on separate days. Maximal oxygen uptake (V̇O2max), maximal heart rate (HRmax), peak blood lactate concentration (B[La]peak), and the preprotocol-to-postprotocol change in countermovement-jump height (ΔCMJH) were measured for each protocol. Players provided dRPE (CR100) for breathlessness (RPE-B) and leg-muscle exertion (RPE-L) immediately on exercise termination (RPE-B0, RPE-L0) and 30 min postexercise (RPE-B30, RPE-L30). Data were analyzed using magnitude-based inferences.

Results:

There were clear between-protocols differences for V̇O2max (cycle 46.5 ± 6.3 vs treadmill 51.0 ± 5.1 mL · kg−1 · min−1, mean difference –9.2%; ±90% confidence limits 3.7%), HRmax (184.7 ± 12.7 vs 196.7 ± 7.8 beats/min, –6.0%; ±1.7%), B[La]peak (9.7 ± 2.1 vs 8.5 ± 2.0 mmol/L, 15%; ±10%), and ΔCMJH (–7.1 ± 4.2 vs 0.6 ± 3.6 cm, –23.2%; ±5.4%). Clear between-protocols differences were recorded for RPE-B0 (78.0 ± 11.7 vs 94.7 ± 9.5 AU, –18.1%; ±4.5%), RPE-L0 (92.6 ± 9.7 vs 81.3 ± 14.1 AU, 15.3%; ±7.6%), RPE-B30 (70 ± 11 vs 82 ± 13 AU, –13.8%; ±7.3%), and RPE-L30 (86 ± 12 vs 65 ± 19 AU, 37%; ±17%). A substantial timing effect was observed for dRPE, with moderate to large reductions in all scores 30 min postexercise compared with scores collected on exercise termination.

Conclusion:

dRPE enhance the precision of internal-load measurement and therefore represent a worthwhile addition to training-load-monitoring procedures.

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Asier Los Arcos, Alberto Méndez-Villanueva, Javier Yanci and Raúl Martínez-Santos

Purpose:

The aim of this study was to assess the respiratory and muscular session ratings of perceived exertion (PE) after official soccer matches over an extended period of time (ie, 2 competition seasons) in relation to playing time (>20, 20–45, 45–70, and >70 min) and to determine the between-matches variability of both scores in young professional soccer players.

Methods:

Forty players belonging to the same reserve team of a Spanish La Liga club participated in this study. Respiratory and muscular PE were collected 10 min after every game. A total of 841 individual PE ratings were undertaken on outfield players.

Results:

The differences between match respiratory and muscular load differ depending on the playing time, the respiratory PE being greater for the players that competed less than 45 min (effect size = –0.45 ± 0.45 for the 20- to 45-min group) and the muscular PE greater for players that played more than 45 min (effect size = 0.23 ± 0.30, for the 45- to 70-min group). Match-to-match PE variability was considerable (CV = 14–54%) for all levels of participation, but it was lower the longer the players participated.

Conclusions:

Playing time influenced the relative exertion that players’ respiratory and leg musculature were exposed to during a game, suggesting that differential PE scores might provide a more accurate evaluation of match-imposed internal load. However, the small-magnitude differences between respiratory and muscular session ratings of PE observed in the current study might question the practical relevance of assessing both scores.