Purpose: This study was conducted to test the validity of the Pictorial Children's Effort Rating Table (PCERT) and OMNI walk/run scales.
Methods: Children (26 boys age 11.2 yr ± 1.6 and 25 girls age 11.1 yr ± 1.4) performed a five-stage incremental exertion treadmill test. The undifferentiated perceived exertion from the PCERT and OMNI scales was assessed for construct validity using Pearson correlations with V̇O2 and heart rate as criteria and concurrent validity by correlating PCERT and OMNI scores.
Results: Increases in PCERT and OMNI scale scores were correlated with increases in V̇O2 (r = 0.90 and 0.92) and heart rate (r = 0.89 and 0.92). No difference was found in slope of the PCERT and OMNI scores when regressed against heart rate or V̇O2 and the slopes were invariant across sexes. To test concurrent validity of the PCERT and OMNI scales, subject scores at each stage were converted to a percentage of the maximal scale. No effect of sex was noted on perceived exertion (P = 0.32), and the percentage of the maximal PCERT and OMNI scales was almost identical at each stage (P = 0.73).
Conclusions: Validity of both the PCERT and OMNI scales was established for submaximal exercise. PCERT and OMNI scores are not interchangeable because they have different scales, but at a given exercise intensity youth assign similar percentages of the maximal scores.