British Lung Foundation
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Borg Scale During Exercise


[quote] "In conclusion, during incremental exercise Borg ratings of dyspnea are not as reproducible as physiologic indices in patients with COPD"[end]

Level of dyspnea is not always related to severity of condition or a constant indicator of the physical condition (as a systemic unit), this would indicate terminating maximal exercise due to dyspnea (short of breath) will not be accurate in guiding when sufficient load has been applied to increase exercise tolerance (stamina) along with general conditioning (cardiac, musculature,metabolism)

In short exercising to your own limit not the perceived limit is the true meaning of pulmonary rehabilitation that physiotherapists require from patients.

4 Replies

The trainer checks heart rate and oxygen saturation breathing hard is all part of how it is and what needs controlling to get the job done. Holding conversation in full sentences is just not trying and the only person cheated is yourself.


Hmmm - can someone explain this to me? I went to the gym this morning and walked for 30 mins at 2.3mph, which a gradual increase in the incline. I stopped because of my heart rate rather than my lungs. I wasn't breathing that hard and was still able to hold a conversation.

I have my 6 minute walk test on Wednesday and I'm worried as I think my SATs drop initially and then pick back up. I really don't want oxygen. Any advice as to best way to train without damaging heart?


Marie x


Breathless not linked to oxygen drop a different thing but lots of jargon could have you thinking it was if you do not understand what is written.

Nothing to fear in 6min walk test with it taking 30mins at 2.3mph on an incline before you have a drop and it recovers quickly that means the heart and brain are the last things starved of precious oxygen when training, getting advice while at hospital for tests wil put aside fears of exercise damaging your health.


I first came across the Borg scale when I did Cardiac Rehab after a triple by pass (about three months after my op) The scale is just an easy way of assessing how breathless you are and we were told it was best not go beyond the point where you could not hold proper conversation whilst exercising.

If you are using a Heart rate monitor then a calculation I was shown for your maximum heart rate is 220 less your age.

I am not medically qualified these are just examples of my own experience.




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