Acute and Session Ratings of Perceived Exertion in a Physical Education Setting

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A commonly stated rationale for examining the use of ratings of perceived exertion with youth is its potential value as an assessment of intensity in physical education settings. The purpose of this study was to examine the relation between ratings of perceived exertion and heart rate in a natural physical education setting. Sixth through eighth grade students performed cardiovascular and muscle endurance circuits and then recorded ratings and heart rate. It was hypothesized that, similar to laboratory studies, strong positive correlations would be seen between heart rate and ratings of perceived exertion, which would provide additional support for the use of ratings of perceived exertion in physical education. However, only low to moderate correlations were found. When data collection occurs in a natural physical education setting, there are challenges that may result in poor correlational results between variables such as heart rate and perceived exertion that demonstrate strong relationships when examined in laboratory settings.

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