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OBJECTIVE: To investigate the strength of the relationship between ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) and oxygen uptake (Vo(2)), heart rate, ventilation (Ve) and power output (PO) during an arm-crank ramped exercise test to volitional exhaustion in men and women who differed in physical status. DESIGN: Each participant completed an arm-crank ramp exercise test to volitional exhaustion. PO was increased by 15 W.min(-1) and 6 W.min(-1) for men and women able-bodied participants, respectively; for the poliomyelitis participants, 9 W.min(-1) and 6 W.min(-1) increments were used for men and women, respectively. SETTING: Laboratory facilities at a university. PARTICIPANTS: Able-bodied participants (n=16; 9 men, 7 women) and participants with poliomyelitis (n=15, 8 men, 7 women) volunteered for the study. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Strength of the relationship (R(2) values) between RPE and Vo(2), heart rate, Ve and PO. RESULTS: There were significantly higher values for maximum Vo(2) and maximum PO for able-bodied men compared with their counterparts with poliomyelitis (P<.05). However, when the data were controlled for age, there were no significant differences in these values (P>.05). Similar results were observed for the women who were able-bodied as well as for the women who had poliomyelitis (P>.05). The relationships between heart rate and RPE and Ve and RPE for able-bodied patients and patients with poliomyelitis were similar (R(2)>.87). The relationship between Vo(2) and RPE was stronger in the able-bodied participants compared wih the participants with poliomyelitis, regardless of sex (P<.05). However, when the data were controlled for age, there was no significant difference in the strength of this relationship between able-bodied participants and those with poliomyelitis, regardless of sex (P>.05). CONCLUSIONS: RPE is strongly related to physiologic markers of exercise intensity during arm exercise, irrespective of sex or participant's poliomyelitis status.

Original publication




Journal article


Arch phys med rehabil

Publication Date





273 - 277


Adult, Arm, Energy Metabolism, Exercise, Exercise Tolerance, Female, Heart Rate, Humans, Male, Oxygen Consumption, Physical Exertion, Poliomyelitis, Predictive Value of Tests, Pulmonary Ventilation, Sex Factors, Young Adult