Dutson J1, Matis E2, Duston A3, Namanny S1, Slack JV1. Correlation between Heart Rate, Estimated Heart Rate, and Rating of Perceived Exertion during Aerobic Exercise​​1Departmnet of Exercise Science, Utah Valley University, Orem, UT, USA, 2Department of Physical Therapy, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA, 3Department of Osteopathic Medicine, Touro University, Henderson, NV, USA.​


Introduction: Over the years heart rate (HR) has been used to determine intensity or how hard somebody is working out. However, it was our perception that most individuals do not know how to use HR in their fitness programs. Our goal was to find whether or not students were aware of their exercising HR and, if not, analyze the discrepancy that existed between the actual HR and estimated HR. Methods: Participating in either sport activity classes or running, subjects first started with a demographic questionnaire to determine basic information. Next, each subject was educated on the Borg Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) Scale, the method by which they reported their RPE. Heart rate monitors were then placed on individuals so that during exercise their heart rate could accurately and easily be determined. For 20 minutes, as participants exercised, they were asked to estimate their HR and RPE every five minutes. Their estimated RPE was recorded and their estimated HR was compared to their actual HR. Results: The running participants’ estimated HRs vs. actual HRs included; at 5 minutes (111.2, 140.9, p<.001), at 10 minutes (124.0, 153.7, p<.001), at 15 minutes (129.5, 149.6, p<.001), and at 20 minutes (126.8, 147.3, p<.001). The sport activity participants’ values included; at 5 minutes (101.3, 135.5, p<.001), at 10 minutes (115.4, 144.5, p<.001), at 15 minutes (116.7, 141.1, p<.003), and at 20 minutes (119.2, 141.2, p<.004). Conclusion: This was an indication that during moderate to vigorous exercise, students did not have an understanding of what their current HR was, and that an optimal HR was not maintained during exercise. Due to these findings, we concluded that it would be beneficial for students to be better educated on target heart rate values and for teachers to be more aware of the intensity levels during their classes.