Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Human Performance and Health Education


Health, Physical Education & Recreation

First Advisor

Dr. Roger Zabik

Second Advisor

Dr. Mary Dawson

Third Advisor

Dr. Patricia Frye

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


The effect of changes in environmental conditions on perception of the intensity of exercise using the Borg scale for rating of perceived exertion (RPE) was the focus of this study. Subjects (n= 10) recruited opportunistically from graduate classes in the Health, Physical Education and Recreation Department performed the test in a climate control chamber located in the Exercise Physiology lab at Western Michigan University. The submaximal test followed the protocol established by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM, 1991).

Each subject performed each of the four conditions three times. Conditions were assigned in random order to each subject. Perceived exertion, body temperature, and workload were recorded at 55%, 65%, 75%, and 85% of the subject's predicted maximum heart rate (MHR). The conditions performed were (a) 75 °F at 50% humidity, (b) 75 °F at 90% humidity, (c) 85 °F at 50% humidity, and (d) 85 °F at 90% humidity.

Randomized block factorial analyses of variance with repeated measures design was calculated for RPE and workload. To test for trend across the percentages of MHR, orthogonal polynomials were also run on both RPE and workload.

The findings of this study showed that both RPE and workload remained relatively stable under the four environmental conditions tested.