The use of a 10-point effort perception scale in adults: A preliminary study

Raymond W. Leung*, Tom K K Tong

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


The purpose of the present preliminary study was to investigate whether a Chinese 10-point effort perception scale, which is a tool for monitoring exercise intensity in children, could be validly and reliably applied to adults. To evaluate this scale, 14 adults (aged 20 to 39 years) completed two identical continuous incremental cycling trials on a Monark stationary cycle ergometer during a period of 1 week. For each trial, the exercise intensity started at 30 W and increased by 30 W every 3 minutes until an intensity level of 180 W was completed. The pedal rate was maintained at 60 rpm throughout the test. The same test experimenter conducted the test at the same clock hour on the same subject for both trials. The effort perception ratings and heart rate responses were recorded at the end of each 3-minute incremental exercise stage. Results revealed significant main effects for exercise intensity (p < 0.01) and non-significant effects for trial (p > 0.05). The Pearson validity correlations between effort perception and heart rate responses were significant (p < 0.05). The test-retest intraclass reliability coefficients ranged from 0.46 to 0.79 across different exercise intensity levels. In conclusion, the results suggest that the repeatability of this 10-point effort perception scale appears to be a concern for use in adults. Children and adults might have different cognitive and perceptual processes during exercise; hence, this scale should be used with caution in adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-49
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Exercise Science and Fitness
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

User-Defined Keywords

  • Cycle ergometry
  • Effort perception
  • Translation


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