The perception of effort measure is very useful as it allows you to gradually increase your activity over time with the greatest chance of progress and success.

The intensity of the exercises should be determined in accordance with your abilities. Effort intensity is thus relative for everyone. Assigning a felt effort score allows you to locate your limits and modulate your programme. The Borg scale measures how difficult the exercise you are doing is for you. It takes into account your physical condition, fatigue and environmental conditions.

This scale is graduated from 0 to 10:

  • if you give a score between 0 and 3, this effort is low intensity for you;
  • between 4 and 6, it is of moderate intensity;
  • between 7 and 10, it corresponds to high intensity.


0 – No effort = It’s like nothing happened!

1 – Very very easy = I breathe and speak without difficulty.

2 – Very easy = I can continue to speak during the effort.

3 – Easy = I can keep talking during the effort but I would do without.

4 – Moderate effort = I can make short sentences during effort, but my breathing is faster than usual.

5 – Medium effort = My breathing is getting faster, I’m starting to have trouble speaking.

6 – A little hard = I’m really starting to have trouble breathing, talking is getting complicated.

7 – Hard = I’m having trouble breathing, I can’t hold the activity very long.

8 – Very hard = I hang in there but I am forced to stop quickly.

9 – Very very hard = The effort is too hard, I can’t last more than 2 minutes.

10 – Maximum effort = Impossible to continue the effort, I can’t breathe.


You will get the most benefit from your activity if you identify and manage to perform activities of different intensities.