RPE VARIES FROM DAY TO DAY FOR THE SAME TASK
Skemp, K. M., Gaskill, S. E., Sanchez, O. A., & Walker, A. J. (1998). Relationship and reproducibility of two RPE scales for cross country skiers compared to the Borg RPE Scale. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 30(5), Supplement abstract 182.
Two perceived exertion scales for cross-country skiing, one for work and the other for breathing intensity, were related to different race lengths and cross-validated against the Borg Scale. Adult cross-country ski racers (N = 23) participated in two graded exercises.
The Borg Scale correlated with work (r = .91) and breathing (r = .92) intensity. However, on the test-retest analysis reliabilities were low: Borg (r = .63), work (r = .51), and breathing (r = .37). Although the authors claim these tests are both valid and reproducible, the low reliability coefficients, particularly for breathing intensity, weaken that claim. Blood lactates taken on the treadmill at breathing intensities were similar to the levels taken during races when similar perceived breathing intensities occurred. This validates the treadmill test as reproducing similar intensity experiences to racing.
Implication. Ratings of perceived exertion vary on different days for the same task. Factors other than the work regimen contribute to day-to-day variations in work perceptions.
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