Purpose: The newly developed Children's OMNI Scale of Perceived Exertion (category range: 0 to 10) was validated using separate cohorts of female and male, African American and white subjects. Each of the four cohorts contained 20 clinically normal, nonobese children, 8-12 yr of age.
Methods: A cross-sectional, perceptual estimation paradigm using a single multi-stage cycle ergometer test protocol was used. Oxygen uptake (VO2; mL x min(-1)), heart rate (HR; beats x min(-1)) and ratings of perceived exertion for the overall body (RPE-Overall), legs (RPE-Legs), and chest (RPE-Chest) were determined at the end of each continuously administered 3-min power output (PO) (i.e., 25, 50, 75, and 100 W) test stage.
Results: The range of responses over the four POs for all cohorts was VO2: 290.8 to 1204.0 mL x min(-1); HR: 89.2 to 164.4 beats x min(-1); and RPE-Overall, RPE-Legs, and RPE-Chest: 0.85 to 9.1. First-order correlation and linear regression analyses were performed for each cohort separately and the total sample using a repeated measures paradigm over the four POs. For all correlation/regression paradigms RPE-Overall, RPE-Legs, and RPE-Chest distributed as a positive linear function of both VO2 and HR; r = 0.85 to 0.94; P < 0.01. Differences between RPE-Overall, RPE-Legs, and RPE-Chest were examined with ANOVA for the repeated measures paradigm. RPE-Legs was higher (P < 0.01) than RPE-Chest and RPE-Overall at 25, 50, 75, and 100 W. RPE-Chest did not differ from RPE-Overall at 25 and 50 W but was lower (P < 0.01) than RPE-Overall at 75 and 100 W.
Conclusion: The psycho-physiological responses provide validity evidence for use of the Children's OMNI Scale over a wide range of dynamic exercise intensities.