ROBERTSON, R. J., N. M. MOYNA, K. L. SWARD, N. B. MILLICH, F. L. GOSS, and P. D. THOMPSON. Gender comparison of RPE at absolute and relative physiological criteria. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., Vol. 32, No. 12, 2000, pp. 2120–2129.
Purpose: The effect of gender on ratings of perceived exertion for the overall body (RPE-O), chest (RPE-C), legs (RPE-L), and arms (RPE-A (ski)) was determined.
Methods: Comparisons were made at, a) absolute oxygen uptake (V̇O2, L·min-1; mL·kg-1·min-1) and heart rate (HR, b·min-1) and b) relative V̇O2 (%V̇O2max/peak) and HR (% HR max/peak) reference criteria. Nine male and 10 female subjects were compared using a perceptual estimation paradigm for treadmill (weight bearing), simulated ski (partial weight bearing), and cycle (nonweight bearing) exercise. RPE was determined by the Borg 15-category scale.
Results: For each exercise mode, RPE-O, RPE-L, RPE-A (ski), and RPE-C were higher (P < 0.05) in the female than male cohort when compared at submaximal absolute V̇O2 criteria. RPE did not differ between female and male cohorts when compared at mode specific relative V̇O2 criteria. Differences in RPE-O, RPE-L, RPE-A (ski), and RPE-C were not found between female and male subjects when comparisons were made at both absolute and relative HR. Responses were consistent for the three exercise modes.
Conclusion: RPE did not differ between gender when comparisons were made at relativized V̇O2 and HR reference criteria at exercise intensities between 70 and 90% of mode specific maximal/peak values.