Perceived exertion: a note on “history” and methods

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Early studies of subjective force estimates for short-time work on a bicycle ergometer are reviewed. Results showed that perceived pedal resistance followed a positively accelerating function with an exponent of 1.6. A model for inter-individunl comparisons using subjective range as a frame of reference is explained. Results of two experiments comparing four different rating methods are reported. Two methods involved the original Borg Senle, and a variation, one graded from 1 to 21 and the other from 6 to 20. The third method utilized a line scale while the fourth scale was graded from 1 to 9 with 2 anchored by the expression “Not At All Stressful” and 8 with “Very, Very Stressful.” These two experiments show that good correlations between heart rates and ratings are obtained independently of which scale is used. Since the Borg (6 to 20) Scale is the one most often used and gives values that grow fairly linear with work load and heart rate it is proposed that this scale be used in most cases.

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