Is there a different rating of perceived exertion in men with type 2 diabetes mellitus?

Leon Schwensfeier, Thorsten Kreutz, Christian Brinkmann

Publication: Contribution to journalJournal articlesResearchpeer-review


OBJECTIVE: Studies show that patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) do not engage in regular exercise as often as individuals without T2DM. In addition to numerous barriers to engaging in regular exercise, a different rating of perceived exertion (RPE) during physical activity has been hypothesized to play a role. Therefore, this study investigates whether T2DM affects RPE.

METHODS: RPE values (BORG scale ratings) and heart rate (HR) data were analyzed during an endurance step test (25 W + 25 W every 2 min) at different workloads relative to the individual maximum load (50%, 70% and 90% of peak workload (Wpeak)) in patients with T2DM and in non-diabetic control (CON) subjects (n = 12 in each group). Furthermore, in a larger group of overweight patients with T2DM (n = 81), it was investigated whether glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels correlate with RPE values at the different relative loads.

RESULTS: Neither RPE nor HR values significantly differed between T2DM and CON subjects at 50%, 70% or 90% of Wpeak. No significant correlations were identified between HbA1c levels and RPE values.

CONCLUSION: There is no evidence in our study that T2DM leads to a different perception of physical exertion. Other causes must therefore be responsible for the increased lack of motivation of T2DM patients to engage in regular exercise.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Diabetes & Metabolic Disorders
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)1399-1404
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2023


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