Tolerability to prolonged lifting tasks assessed by subjective perception and physiological responses

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Prolonged physical exertion is regulated subjectively by the perception of effort. This preliminary study was conducted to validate the use of subjective perceptions of effort in assessing objectively tolerable workloads for prolonged lifting tasks. Eight healthy male subjects underwent incremental and 30-minute endurance lifting tests. Cardiorespiratory parameters were monitored with an oxygen uptake analyser and mechanical parameters were calculated using a lift dynamometer. Ratings of perceived exertion were given on Borg's 10-point scale. Physiological responses to repetitive lifting were matched with subjective perceptions. The relationship between the perception of exertion and the duration of the endurance tests was described by power functions; Y=aXn in which 0 > n >1. A single-variable statistical regression for power functions was performed to obtain the individual ‘iso-perception’ curves as functions of the mechanical work exerted. It was found that the ‘iso-perception’ curve corresponding to a ‘moderate’ perception of effort may represent the individual ‘tolerance threshold’ for prolonged lifting tasks, since physiological responses at this intensity of effort did not change significantly and the respiratory exchange ratio was less than one. The individually tolerable power over lime for lifting tasks has been estimated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2118-2128
Number of pages11
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1995


  • Energy expenditure
  • Lifting
  • Subjective perception
  • Tolerable workload

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Psychology(all)
  • Applied Psychology


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