Heart rate and perceived exertion measures during exercise in people with parkinson's disease

Steven P. Hooker, Cynthia K. Foudray, Lisa A. McKay, Cornelio M. Pasquil, Lori S. Seitzinger, Micki D. Welsh, Cheryl H. Waters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This study determined the reliability of submaximal heart rate (HR) and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) at a given work rate (WR), peak HR, peak RPE, peak WR, and total exercise duration to graded semi-recumbent leg cycle exercise in people with Parkinson's disease (PD). Ten subjects (one female, nine males) aged sixty to eighty- two (70.3 ± 8.1 years), with diagnosed PD stages of Hoehn and Yahr II to III participated in the study. Each subject performed two maximal-effort tests separated by seven days using an incremental protocol on a semi-recumbent leg cycle ergometer. All tests were performed during the time of peak PD drug effectiveness. Repeated measures (ANOVA) revealed no significant differences (p ≥.05) between test and retest for peak WR, HR, and RPE, and total exercise duration. There were also no significant differences between test-retest RPE and HR values at four selected sub maximal WRs. Intraclass correlation coefficients revealed good to excellent reliability for all variables studied. Exercise performance and peak and submaximal HR and RPE are highly reproducible in people with PD performing semi-recumbent leg cycle exercise. It is concluded that this specific exercise mode could be used with confidence in studies investigating the effects of pharmaceutical and/or physical rehabilitation regimes on the functional capacity of people with PD. Additionally, it appears that HR and RPE can serve as accurate indicators of exercise intensity is such people involved in physical rehabilitation/training programs. The results also suggest that people with PD can participate in this exercise mode in a controlled environment without any undue risk of abnormal physiologic responses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-105
Number of pages5
JournalNeurorehabilitation and Neural Repair
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Exertion
  • Leg cycle ergometry
  • Parkinsonism
  • Physical therapy
  • Rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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