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Cuadernos de Psicología del Deporte

On-line version ISSN 1989-5879Print version ISSN 1578-8423


CASTANER, Marta et al. Perception of the intensity of the effort: a multi-method study on physical activity. CPD [online]. 2015, vol.15, n.1, pp.83-88. ISSN 1989-5879.

The current study had two aims: a) to determine whether the three Borg scale values assigned by young athletes to three activities of increasing intensity showed a significant progression; and b) to analyse the relationship between the body mass index (BMI) of these athletes and their heart rate (HR) and rating of perceived exertion (RPE). Method: Thirty-five young athletes (mean age 21 years ± 0.5) performed three activities involving an increasing intensity of exercise: mild, moderate and vigorous (ACSM, 2011). Heart rate was monitored using the Polar Team 2 system, and at the end of each activity participants completed the Borg RPE scale. Indirect observational methodology (Borg scale) was complemented by a quasi-experimental approach in order to make causal inferences by means of a synchronous design involving a known assignment variable and a single group. A multiple regression analysis was performed, considering HR and RPE as predictors of BMI. Results: The RPE of all participants increased across the three activities, but in no case did the trend achieve statistical significance. Participants with higher values of HR and RPE also had a higher BMI, and in the regression analysis HR and RPE explained around one-quarter of BMI. This study provides an integrated assessment of the relationship between BMI, HR and RPE factors that are usually examined isolated.

Keywords : Exercise intensity; heart rate; body mass index; multiple regression; simple regression.

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