Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Exercise and Health Science

First Advisor

Laurie Milliken

Second Advisor

Phil N. Gona

Third Advisor

Tongjian You


The validity and reliability of the Borg’s 6-20 Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) scale has not been tested among Chinese people from Mainland China. This study assessed: 1. the validity of Leung Chinese version (n=22) and Wang Chinese version (n=23) of the Borg 6-20 scales; 2. The reliability of Wang Chinese version (n=11) of RPE scale; and 3. The agreement of these two Chinese versions (n=21) of the RPE scales during the Bruce treadmill protocol testing among young healthy adults from Mainland China. A total of 26 subjects (11 males, and 15 females), age 22.7±3.0 yr., volunteered to participate. They performed one (n=3), two (n=14), or three trials (n=9) of the identical Bruce treadmill protocol exercises within a time span of 9.0±5.1 days (validation trials), and 30.4±27.9 days (reliability trials). The objective measures of exercise intensity (power output, heart rate, and oxygen consumption) and the subjective measure of effort (RPE) were observed during the incremental exercise. Significant (p<0.01) Pearson linear correlations coefficients (r) were found where RPE values were strongly correlated with power output (Leung version rs≥0.75, Wang version rs≥0.73), heart rate (Leung version rs≥0.84, Wang version rs≥0.87), and oxygen consumption (Leung version rs≥0.80, Wang version rs≥0.81). The overall test-retest interclass correlation (ICC) was 0.94. All the Bland-Altman plots for stage 1 to 3 showed that at most 1 data point was outside of the limits of agreement. Fisher z-transformation test found no significant differences in correlation (all ps>0.05) between trials for the reliability test of Wang version scale, and found no significant difference (p>0.05) in correlation with objective measures between the two Chinese versions of RPE scale. In conclusion, both Leung and Wang Chinese versions Borg’s 6-20 RPE scales are valid psychophysiological tools to measure perceptions of exertion during controlled Bruce treadmill protocol exercise among young healthy Chinese adults. The Wang scale is reliable, and the Leung and Wang scales show good agreement with each other.


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