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Rated Perceived Exertion (RPE) Scale

The RPE scale is used to measure the intensity of your exercise. The RPE scale runs from 0 – 10. The numbers below relate to phrases used to rate how easy or difficult you find an activity. For example, 0 (nothing at all) would be how you feel when sitting in a chair; 10 (very, very heavy) is how you feel at the end of an exercise stress test or after a very difficult activity.

0 – Nothing at all
0.5 – Just noticeable
1 – Very light
2 – Light
3 – Moderate
4 –   Somewhat heavy
5 – Heavy
6  
7 – Very heavy
8  
9  
10 – Very, very heavy

In most cases, you should exercise at a level that feels 3 (moderate) to 4 (somewhat heavy). When using this rating scale, remember to include feelings of shortness of breath, as well as how tired you feel in your legs and overall.

To make an appointment with an exercise specialist or to join a cardiac rehabilitation program, contact Cleveland Clinic Preventive Cardiology - 216.444.9353 or 800.223.2273 ext. 9353.

Talk to a Nurse: Mon. - Fri., 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. (ET)

Call a Heart & Vascular Nurse locally 216.445.9288 or toll-free 866.289.6911.

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This information is provided by Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition.

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