Research Output
An Investigation Into The Effectiveness Of Ratings Of Perceived Exertion In Cardiac Rehabilitation Exercise
  INTRODUCTION: Within Scotland, Cardiac Rehabilitation Phase IV (CRIV) exercise classes are widely utilised to deliver community-based exercise utilising traditional circuit type exercise for both genders. Currently no gender specific rating of perceived exertion (RPE) scale has been developed for different exercise types or environments.

PURPOSE:To investigate the effectiveness of current RPE scales in Cardiac Rehabilitation Phase IV groups utilising different environments and exercise.

METHODS: 62 subjects (m/f n= CX 12, 12; WB 12, 10; ZF 8, 8; mean body mass: 72±13kg, age:58 ±6yrs) were recruited and randomly allocated to traditional Circuit Based (CX), Water Based (WB) or ZonefitTM (ZF) exercise classes. Weight and balance were recorded pre and post exercise intervention. Subjects participated in two classes per week for a period of four consecutive weeks. During exercise, RPE values (Borg 6-20 scaling) were collected with Heart Rate (Hr) continuously recorded using Suunto Team System. Berg’s Balance Scale (BBS) (1989) was used prior to, and post, main exercise period. Eight different exercises were standardised for time, type and order (4 predominantly lower body, 2 upper body, 2 balance) with all exercise patterns and movements transferrable across each group. Subjects were asked to maintain their level of exertion in zones (RPE 10-12 or 5-7 and verbally report actual perceived values) while Hr was recorded.

RESULTS: No significant change in weight pre to post exercise intervention was reported in any group (P>0.05). All groups balance scores improved. Overall group improvements were 0.3 CX; 1.8 WB; 2.4 ZF however values were not statistically significant. Females reported higher Hr and perceived exertion values than males (P=0.000) with the exception of ZF (exercises predominantly lower body) suggesting a gender bias when using current common RPE scales. No learning effect was discerned.

CONCLUSIONS: There was a significant gender difference in reported values for aquatic and circuit based exercises with females reporting higher perceived exertion than males. Non-traditional environments can provide comparable cardiovascular benefits to traditional CR exercise formats but require revision of current perceived exertion scaling to ensure accurate perception of workload in female participants.

  • Type:

    Meeting Abstract

  • Date:

    31 May 2014

  • Publication Status:


  • Publisher

    Ovid Technologies (Wolters Kluwer Health)

  • DOI:


  • Cross Ref:


  • ISSN:


  • Funders:

    Edinburgh Napier Funded


Graham, S. M., Martindale, R., Baird, M., Thow, M., & McKinley, M. (2014). An Investigation Into The Effectiveness Of Ratings Of Perceived Exertion In Cardiac Rehabilitation Exercise. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 46(5S), 690.


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