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Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2002 Dec;34(12):2057-61.

Reliability and validity of the Borg and OMNI rating of perceived exertion scales in adolescent girls.

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Department of Exercise Science, 730 Devine St., University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208, USA.



To examine the reliability and validity of the Borg and OMNI rating of perceived exertion (RPE) scales in adolescent girls during treadmill exercise.


Adolescent girls (N = 57, age = 15.3+/-1.5 yr) were randomly assigned to use an RPE scale (Borg or OMNI) during one of three treadmill submaximal exercise conditions (walking, walking uphill, or jogging). After RPE assessment, exercise intensity was increased until participants achieved volitional exhaustion (O2max). Expired respiratory gases and heart rate (HR) were measured continuously during exercise. Reliability of the RPE scales was assessed using ANOVA (intraclass) and Spearman-Brown prophecy formula (single trial) measures. Validity estimates were calculated using Pearson Product Moment correlations, with % HRmax and % O2max as criterion measures.


Intraclass and single-trial reliability estimates were higher for the OMNI (r(xx) = 0.95 and r(kk) = 0.91, respectively) compared with the Borg (r(xx) = 0.78 and r(kk) = 0.64, respectively) RPE scale. Validity estimates were also higher for the OMNI scale compared with the Borg scale. Validity coefficients (r(xy)) for %HRmax and %O2max comparisons were 0.86 and 0.89, respectively, for the OMNI, compared with 0.66 and 0.70, respectively, for the Borg.


The OMNI cycle pictorial scale was found to be reliable and valid for use with adolescent girls. It also appears to be more reliable and valid than the Borg scale for use in this population during treadmill exercise.

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