ROBERTSON, R. J., F. L. GOSS, J. A. BELL, C. B.DIXON, K. I. GALLAGHER, K. M. LAGALLY, J. M. TIMMER, K. L. ABT, J. D. GALLAGHER, and T. THOMPKINS. Self-regulated cycling using the children’s OMNI Scale of Perceived Exertion. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., Vol. 34, No. 7, pp. 1168–1175, 2002.
Purpose: An estimation and production paradigm was used to determine whether clinically normal 8- to 12-yr-old female (N = 18) and male (N = 18) children could (a) self-regulate intermittent cycle ergometer exercise using a prescribed target rating of perceived exertion (RPE), (b) discriminate between target RPEs, and (c) produce intermittent target RPEs in both an ascending and descending sequence.
Methods: Overall body RPE was assessed with the Children’s OMNI Scale (0–10). Subjects underwent (a) one orientation trial, (b) one estimation (E) trial, and (c) two production (P) trials. During E, RPE was estimated each minute of a progressive cycle ergometer test. During the 3-min intermittent P trials, subjects titrated cycle brake force to produce either an RPE sequence of 2 and 6 (ascending) or 6 and 2 (descending). The P trials simulated short, intermittent exercise typical of children’s play.
Results: Oxygen uptake (V̇O2) did not differ between E and P at a target RPE of 2 (0.63 versus 0.66 L·min−1) and 6 (1.27 vs 1.21 L·min−1). Heart rate (HR) did not differ between E and P at a target RPE of 2 (104.1 vs 102.6 beats·min−1) and 6 (153.7 vs 154.5 beats·min−1). Both V̇O2 and HR were higher (P < 0.01) at a target RPE-6 than -2. Responses were not affected by gender or production sequence.
Conclusion: Young female and male children were able to use the OMNI Scale to self-regulate short-duration intermittent cycle exercise intensity.