Comparability of the 6-min Walk Test Using Different Test Configurations

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity

Click name to view affiliation

Del N. Konopka
Search for other papers by Del N. Konopka in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Robin P. Shook
Search for other papers by Robin P. Shook in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Marian L. Kohut
Search for other papers by Marian L. Kohut in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Rosalie Vos Tulp
Search for other papers by Rosalie Vos Tulp in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
, and
Warren D. Franke
Search for other papers by Warren D. Franke in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
Restricted access

The 6-min walk test (6MWT) is a common component of fitness assessments of older adults; however, differing course configurations might affect 6MWT performance. It is unclear how comparable 2 different configurations are. To determine the comparability of 2 courses, 35 adults ≥65 years of age completed two 6MWT, once walking around a 20- by 5-yd outdoor rectangle and once on an indoor oval track (circumference 144.3 yd). Scores for the 2 tests were internally consistent (intraclass correlation coefficient = .95). The participants walked farther on the oval track than around the rectangle (639 ± 19 vs. 582 ± 16 yd; p < .0001), but responses to the rectangular configuration could be readily estimated using the equation 66.7 yd + 0.807 × (oval walking distance), R2 = .85. Thus, within-participant responses are similar across both 6MWT, but the course configuration affects the distance walked.

The authors are with the Dept. of Kinesiology, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011.

  • Collapse
  • Expand