Skip to content

Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE)

Font Size

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
1

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: September 26, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
Next Article:

Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) Topics

Hot Topics

WebMD Video: Now Playing

Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

MS Overview
Recognizing symptoms.
feet
Solutions for 19 types.
pregnancy test and calendar
Helping you get pregnant.
build a better butt
How to build a better butt.
lone star tick
How to identify that bite.
woman standing behind curtains
How it affects you.
brain scan with soda
Tips to avoid complications.
row of colored highlighter pens
Tips for living better.
stressed working woman
And how to fix them?
woman dreaming
What Do Your Dreams Say About You?
spinal compression fracture
Treatment options.

Women's Health Newsletter

Find out what women really need.