Physiological and Mechanical Exercise Intensity Determination Based on Perceived Exertion

Ibrahim Dabayebeh, Samira Orabi, Megdad Tarawneh


Self-regulating and monitoring exercise intensity is an important element of fitness improvement, health and exercise participation. Several perceived exertion scales have been developed and used internationally such as the OMNI Scale. However, this scale has not been used in production trials in the Arabic language.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to introduce a creative method to prescribe exercise intensity in a fitness program and for the first time in the Arabic language.

Method and Materials: Physiological and mechanical exercise intensity responses were measured for selected perceptual intensities using the Arabic translated format of the OMNI scale. Ten young adult subjects (21.8 yrs) performed three separate and randomly selected cycle ergometer production trials at 3, 6, and 9 intensities on the 10 point OMNI scale. The exercise duration of each exercise trial was four minutes during which the subject had two minutes to select the intensity based on the Ratings of Perceived Exertion (RPE) only. During the last minute of each trial, physiological and mechanical responses were measured for the three intensities.

Results: The responses for the 3, 6, and 9 OMNI RPEs were oxygen consumption (VO2, L/min): 1.98, 2.94, and 4.99; Heart Rate (HR, beat/min): 97, 120, and 164; and Work Load (Watt): 52.9, 89.8, and 223.10, respectively. Regression and correlation analysis showed that the RPEs were distributed as a positive linear function of VO2, HR, and Watt (P < 0.05). ANOVA with repeated measurements showed a significant difference among the different intensity responses for VO2, HR, and Watt.

Conclusions: The results indicated the ability of exercise participants to select different exercise intensities during a fitness session using the OMNI RPEs. The scale may be used to self-regulate exercise intensities accurately and practically by the exercise participants at different intensities.


Cardiorespiratory fitness; aerobic exercise prescription; rating of perceived exertion; OMNI scale.

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