By purchasing this content you agree and accept the terms and conditions
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.