Send to

Choose Destination
Sports Med. 2017 Nov;47(11):2375-2393. doi: 10.1007/s40279-017-0711-5.

Development and Validity of the Rating-of-Fatigue Scale.

Author information

School of Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, Essex, CO4 3SQ, UK.
Faculty of Health, Sport and Performance, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand.
School of Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, Essex, CO4 3SQ, UK.
University of Dammam, Dammam, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.



The purpose of these experiments was to develop a rating-of-fatigue (ROF) scale capable of tracking the intensity of perceived fatigue in a variety of contexts.


Four experiments were carried out. The first provided the evidential basis for the construction of the ROF scale. The second tested the face validity of the ROF, and the third tested the convergent and divergent validity of the ROF scale during ramped cycling to exhaustion and 30 min of resting recovery. The final experiment tested the convergent validity of the ROF scale with time of day and physical activity (accelerometer counts) across a whole week.


Modal selections of descriptions and diagrams at different levels of exertion and recovery were found during Experiment 1 upon which the ROF scale was constructed and finalised. In Experiment 2, a high level of face validity was indicated, in that ROF was reported to represent fatigue rather than exertion. Descriptor and diagrammatic elements of ROF reportedly added to the coherence and ease of use of the scale. In Experiment 3, high convergence between ROF and various physiological measures were found during exercise and recovery (heart rate, blood lactate concentration, oxygen uptake, carbon dioxide production, respiratory exchange ratio and ventilation rate were all P < 0.001). During ramped cycling to exhaustion ROF and RPE did correspond (P < 0.0001) but not during recovery, demonstrating discriminant validity. Experiment 4 found ROF to correspond with waking time during each day (Mon-Sun all P < 0.0001) and with physical activity (accelerometer count) (Mon-Sun all P < 0.001).


The ROF scale has good face validity and high levels of convergent validity during ramped cycling to exhaustion, resting recovery and daily living activities. The ROF scale has both theoretical and applied potential in understanding changes in fatigue in a variety of contexts.


Electronic Supplementary Material Appendix; Likert Score; Respiratory Exchange Ratio; Ventilation Rate; Volitional Exhaustion

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center