British Lung Foundation
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Modified Borg scale for breathlessness

Modified Borg scale for breathlessness

Used at PR classess

When you excercise keep between 4/5 not higher.

8 Replies

Extract from BLF excercise diary.

How hard should I work?

It is important that excercise makes you feel moderately to severe breathless ; only then will get fitter and feel the benefits. You should feel slightly sweaty and you may feel your heart beating faster-this is a normal response to excercise. One good way of knowing our hard to work is with this simply idea- while you are exercising, try to say the following

sentence .

'This exercise programme is doing me good!.

If you can say the whole sentence without stopping you are not working hard enough!

If you can't speak at all , or can only one word at a time, you are working to hard.

If you can say the sentence with one or two stops, that's right.

Remember, it is not harmful for you to get out of breath when you exert yourself.

However, if you are too breathless to speak, slow down until your breathing improves. Try not to get so breathless that you have to stop suddenly. As you gradually increase your activity and exercise you should find you are able to do more without feeling quite so short of breath.


thank you stone, when I lift 5 ke with one arm I,m ok,but I cheat and use two hands for the other 15 minutes and my heart goes bam bam so that's ok,i use a punch bag as in boxing and get breathless but I,m ok,i recover soon,always have something at the back of my mind about my mam but treatment today for us so I think past that,rhf ended her ,cant dwell on that ,we are all different ,xxx


The last post was actually a copy of the BODE index.


Do the same criteria apply to asthmatics as well as people with COPD when exercising?


As far as I am aware the only people who should exercise caution, are people with a heart condition or have a pace maker fitted.

Unless exertion is a trigger.?

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stone my heart is fine no problems there,i push till I,m nackered .the only triggers I have is if people come near me coughing spluttering and faging it,,thats outside I move or if I see someone and its o give us a hug no thank you hug yourself ,xxx,my mam died with rhf you know that abrev ,them times there was no knowledge like now, never even stopped the fags nothing, I,m doing the opposite ,push myself while I,m copd moderate ,xxx

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i was told at PR that between 3 and 4 was best to aim for ?


Hi I would presume there is many different options ,

The important point is while we have to exert ourselves ,there as to be a cut of point.

10 on that scale equals a trip to A and E.

5 is the highest you would go and still remain in controll

The sentence used in the BLF exercise diary is a good reference point.


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