Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Plowman, Sharon A.

Degree Name

M.S. Ed. (Master of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Physical Education


Excerise for children--Testing


The purpose of this study was to determine if children could be taught to perceive the physical exertion level necessary, using the Children’s Effort Rating Table (CERT), to reach and maintain their prescribed heart rate (HR) training zone using typical motor activities performed in an elementary physical education class. Subjects included 104 children in Grades 1 through 5 (ages 6 to 11 years) who performed five training sessions (Phase I) and two reproduction tests (Phase II). During Phase I the subjects received instructions and feedback, practiced exercising within a training HR zone of 130 to 180 bpm using Polar Vantage XL HRMs, and reported CERT values corresponding to how they perceived their physical effort. Phase II consisted of two testing trials which required the children to exercise within the prescribed training HR zone and report a CERT value at two random times during the exercise (Trial la and lb, Trial 2a and 2b). Sixty-two percent of the subjects were able to set their exercise intensity within the 130 to 180 bpm HR range for one trial but only 40% could exercise within the HR zone consistently for both trials. Pearson correlations between HR and CERT values were found to be -. 18 (Trial 1) and -.17 (Trial 2). Reliability of the CERT resulted in intraclass correlations of .59 (Trial 1) and .54 (Trial 2) due to significantly different means (p<05). These results indicate that elementary aged children had some ability to set their own exercise intensity with the use of HRMs during unmeasurable work output activities in the physical education environment. However, children were unable to use their perception skills to ABSTRACT rate physical effort through the CERT. The data do not support the CERT as a practical tool for physical educators to use when teaching young children to set exercise intensity.


Includes bibliographical references.


58 pages




Northern Illinois University

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