Int J Sports Med 2017; 38(12): 897-901
DOI: 10.1055/s-0043-117609
Training & Testing
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Ratings of Perceived Exertion and Physiological Responses in Children During Exercise

Jennifer M. Erichsen1, Brandon J. Dykstra1, Mary C. Hidde1, Anthony D. Mahon1
  • 1Human Performance Laboratory, Ball State University, Muncie, IN, United States
Further Information

Publication History

accepted after revision 18 July 2017

Publication Date:
21 September 2017 (eFirst)


OMNI ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) and physiological responses in children (n=7 boys, 8 girls, 11.1±1.0 years) were examined during estimation (graded exercise test [GXT] and steady-state) and production (steady-state) trials on a cycle ergometer. Peak oxygen consumption (VO2peak) was determined via a GXT with RPE estimated every 30 s. Later, two 6-min trials were completed: Participants 1) estimated RPE at ~75% of VO2peak, 2) produced a level of exertion corresponding to their RPE at ~75% of VO2peak during the GXT. Data analysis included a one-way MANOVA and a paired t-test. The target intensity during the GXT corresponded to 74.2±2.5% of VO2peak; the steady-state estimation and production trials were performed at 76.5±2.7% and 68.5±14.1% of VO2peak, respectively (p>0.05). Mean RPE at ~75% of VO2peak during the GXT and production trial was 6.7±1.5; during the steady-state estimation trial RPE was 5.8±2.0 (p>0.05). There were no differences (p>0.05) in the physiological responses. Participants estimated RPE similarly at ~75% of VO2peak during both graded and steady-state exercise, but when asked to produce a given RPE, marked variability was observed in physiological responses. These findings may have implications in optimizing exercise prescriptions for children.