Borg’s Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) is a simple and convenient method of monitoring exercise intensity; however, the correlation between RPE and heart rate (HR) is not always consistent. This pilot study examined the criterion-based validity of RPE versus heart rate. Twelve fasting, healthy African-American volunteers at ages of 21-41 years performed a supervised, 45-minute brisk walk test on a treadmill over three consecutive days. Throughout the test, each subject was asked the RPE every five minutes. The subjects' heart rates were monitored continuously and recorded every minute. The overall correlation coefficient, r, between RPE and HR for all data sets (N=360) was 0.58. The "r" values for males and females were 0.60 and 0.56, respectively. The analysis revealed that the correlation between RPE and HR was not as strong as previously reported, and that gender influenced the correlation. Also, RPE may be safely used to assess the exercise intensity in healthy subjects
Karavatas SG, Tavakol K. Concurrent Validity Of Borg’s Rating Of Perceived Exertion In African-American Young Adults, Employing Heart Rate As The Standard. The Internet Journal of Allied Health Sciences and Practice. 2005 Jan 01;3(1), Article 5.