Borg Rating Of Perceived Exertion

Original Editor Uchechukwu Chukwuemeka

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Borg rating of perceived exertion (RPE) is an outcome measure scale used in exercise intensity prescription. It is use in monitoring progress and mode of exercise in cardiac patients as well as in other patient population undergoing rehabilitation and endurance training.

Borg RPE scale was made by Gunnar Borg for rating exertion and breathlessness during physical activity; that is, how hard the activity is as shown by high heart and respiration rate, profuse perspiration and muscle exertion.

Intended Population

It is intended for all patient under rehabilitation. and for monitoring exercise prescription in athletes.It is not suitable in children as the scoring is difficult to interpret in this age group.

Method of Use

The scale is a very simple numerical list. Participants are asked to rate their exertion on the scale during the activity, combining all sensations and feelings of physical stress and fatigue. They are told to disregard any one factor such as leg pain or shortness of breath but to try to focus on the whole feeling of exertion. This number gives an indication of the intensity of activity allowing the participant to speed up or slow down movements. The scale takes seconds to complete and can be researcher or self-administered and used on a single occasion or multiple times.


9 connotes ‘very light’ exercise which equals walking slowly for few minutes at own pace of a healthy individual..

13 depicts ‘somewhat hard’ but the individual is still able to continue the activity.

17 connotes ‘very hard’. A healthy person can continue but must push themselves beyond their comfort of being very fatigued.

19 is extremely strenuous exercise.for most people, the hardest they have ever experienced.