Font Size
A
A
A

Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE)


Topic Overview

Rating of perceived exertion (RPE) can help you measure how hard your body is working when you are exercising.

Using a scale from 6 to 20, you choose a rating number to describe how difficult the activity feels based on how tired you are, how difficult it is to breathe, and how hard it is to do the activity.

For most people, exercising at a moderate (RPE 12 to 13) to vigorous (RPE 14 to 17) level will help you get the most benefit from exercising. If you have health problems, your RPE goal may be different. Talk with your doctor before starting an exercise program.

How hard do you feel the exercise is?
Rating numberPerceived exertion
6Very, very light
7
8Very light (you feel comfortable)
9
10Light
11
12Somewhat hard (you feel tired but you can keep going)
13
14Hard
15
16Very hard (you feel very tired, and you are pushing yourself to continue)
17
18
19Very, very hard (the most difficult exercise you have ever done)
20

Related Information

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerHeather Chambliss, PhD - Exercise Science
Last RevisedOctober 25, 2011

eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

To learn more visit Healthwise.org

© 1995-2014 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.





Medical Dictionary