Ratings Of Perceived Exertion

How the patients develop the ability to perceive how hard they are exercising is a crucial factor in the ability to learn to self-monitor and regulate exercise intensity. Knowing the safe limits to which patients can exert themselves means they have graduated from the need to be clinically supervised to being independent exercisers.

In the early stages of rehabilitation the exercise leader typically takes a parental role and has more control of the patient, dictating the appropriate exercise intensity. This is done using a combination of HR monitoring, setting specific exercise machine speeds and work rates, observing the patient and using METs to guide the patient. During this period the patient should be made aware of the physical sensations they feel in relation to these set

6

No exertion at all

8

0

Nothing at all

■No P"

Extremely light

0.3

0.5

Extremely weak

Just noticeable

9

Very light

1

Very weak

10

1.5

11

Light

2 2.5

Weak

Light

12

3

Moderate

13

Somewhat hard

4

14

5

Strong

Heavy

15

Hard (heavy)

6

16

7

Very strong

17

Very hard

8 9

18

10

Extremely strong "Max P"

19

Extremely hard

11

20

Maximal exertion

-i-

Absolute maximum

Highest possible

Borg RPE scale

0 Gunnar Borg, 1970, 1985, 1984, 1998

Borg-CR10 scale © Gunnar Borg, 1981, 19S2,1993

Figure 3.4. (A) Borg's rating of perceived exertion (RPE) and (B) category ratio (CR-10) scales (Borg, 1998).

Borg RPE scale

0 Gunnar Borg, 1970, 1985, 1984, 1998

Borg-CR10 scale © Gunnar Borg, 1981, 19S2,1993

Figure 3.4. (A) Borg's rating of perceived exertion (RPE) and (B) category ratio (CR-10) scales (Borg, 1998).

intensities, which can be rated on a scale of perceived exertion. The most widely and almost exclusively used scales are Borg's (1998) perceived exertion scales (Figure 3.4 A and B). These scales are found in practically every exercise science, sports medicine textbook, practice guidelines and in most scientific publications that involve aerobic exercise or fitness testing procedures. It took over twenty years (from the 1950s to 1970s) for Borg to formulate what was felt to be a 6-20 point rating scale where each point could be related to a relative physiological strain (e.g. %HRmax, %VO2max or blood lactate). It was another 13 years (1970 to 1983) before he validated his category ratio 10-point scale (CR-10; Figure 3.4 B). Borg has continued in recent years to refine the theoretical concept of what he terms psycho-physical scaling (Borg, 1998).

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