J Korean Phys Ther.  2020 Apr;32(2):132-136. 10.18857/jkpt.2020.32.2.132.

Use of the Talk Test for Comparison of Exercise Intensity between Aerobic Activities with Treadmill and Bicycle

  • 1Department of Physical Therapy, Yeungnam University College, Daegu, Korea


The talk test (TT) is an alternative, self-reported method for prescribing and guiding exercise training in both healthy adults and patients with cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases. This study examined whether the TT is a valid tool for evaluating the exercise intensity during two different types of aerobic activity on a treadmill or stationary bicycle in a healthy population.
A total of ten subjects (six males and four females) who had no medical history related to musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, and pulmonary disorders were enrolled in this study. They were evaluated using the TT, which consisted of three-level of difficulties demanding cardiac loads while performing aerobic activities on a treadmill and bicycle ergometer across two consecutive days in a counterbalanced manner. During the activities, the psychophysiological response markers were collected in terms of the heart rate, oxygen saturation, rating of perceived exertion, and metabolic equivalents.
Statistical analyses revealed a significant difference in the between-subject variance regarding the TT level effect (p<0.05). On the other hand, no significant findings were detected on the between-group variance(p>0.05) and the TT level×group interaction (p>0.05). The independent t-test indicated no significant differences in heart rate, oxygen saturation, rating of perceived exertion, and metabolic equivalents at any levels of the TT in the two groups. The TT showed a strong correlation with the rating of perceived exertion.
This study showed that the TT is a valid and alternative tool for evaluating the aerobic exercise intensity in a healthy population. In addition, differences in the psychophysiological response markers between two aerobic activities, treadmill and bicycle ergometer, were detected in the same exercise intensity scaled with the TT. The TT can be used to evaluate and prescribe the exercise intensity of aerobic activity in cardiovascular and pulmonary physical therapy.


The talk test; Psychophysiological response markers; Aerobic exercise; Exercise intensity
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