Measuring Exercise Intensity

Jan 20, 2017

Gauging the intensity of your activity can help you to make the most of your time while active. Too little intensity is ineffective and wasteful of time. Too much can be difficult to tolerate or even dangerous to your health. Try the following strategies for measuring your intensity:

  • RPE is an acronym for “Rate of Perceived Exertion,” and is commonly related to a 1-10 scale, with 1 being perceived as effortless and 10 being a maximal effort, lasting up to 30 seconds. Moderate activity with this scale would translate to a minimum of a “4” effort, up to a “6” effort.
  • The Talk Test is another simple way to measure relative intensity. In general, if you're doing moderate-intensity activity you can talk, but not sing, during the activity. If you're doing vigorous-intensity activity, you will not be able to say more than a few words without pausing for a breath.

To create an effective exercise routine, it’s important to periodically evaluate how intense the activity is. The human body is an amazing machine, with the ability to adapt and accomplish more work with less effort!

Have Questions?

Campbell County Health Wellness works to reduce health risks and promote overall wellness among employee groups and individuals across the northeastern Wyoming region. To learn more about Wellness, please visit or call 307.688.8051.

This blog was written by Rachel Wilde, CPT, MA, CCH Wellness Services Technician and Phlebotomist

Categories: Wellness