Ratings of perceived exertion in individuals with varying fitness levels during walking and running

Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol. 1989;58(5):494-9. doi: 10.1007/BF02330703.


It was the purpose of this investigation to: 1) compare the ratings of perceived exertion (RPEs) in high and low fit individuals when walking and running at comparable exercise intensities and 2) to determine if ventilation (VE) provides a central signal for RPEs. Nine high fit and nine low fit male subjects completed two exercise bouts on a treadmill, one uphill walking and the other level running. Workloads for each bout were set at 90% of each subject's ventilatory threshold (VT) as determined from a graded exercise test. Oxygen consumption (Vo2), heart rate (HR), and VE were all similar between the walk and run trials for the low fit subjects (P greater than 0.05). HR were found to be significantly greater during the walk trial vs. the run trial (P less than 0.05) for the high fit subjects, whereas, VE was significantly greater during the run trial. Oxygen consumption was similar for the high fit subjects during both trials (P greater than 0.05). During the walk and run trials, central (12.1 +/- 1.6 vs. 11.4 +/- 1.5), local (14.0 +/- 1.3 vs. 13.9 +/- 1.1) and overall (12.8 +/- 1.2 vs. 12.4 +/- 1.4) RPEs were not found to be significantly different for the low fit group (P greater than 0.05). In contrast, during the walk vs. the run trial there was a significant increase in central (10.7 +/- 2.0 vs. 9.2 +/- 1.9), local (11.5 +/- 2.0 vs. 9.8 +/- 1.8) and overall (11.2 +/- 2.4 vs. 9.6 +/- 2.3) RPEs for the high fit group (P less than 0.05).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Physical Exertion*
  • Physical Fitness*
  • Respiration
  • Running*
  • Self Concept