Six minutes walk test outcome measures in children

Vandana Singh, Yogendra Singh Verma


Background: There are limited numbers of studies on 6 MWT in school going children in India. Objectives were to know gender wise outcome measurements for 6 MWT and its correlation with various anthropometric parameters, to make comparison of results between children of various socio-economic groups.

Methods: After a randomized selection of schools a total of 500 children belonging to different socioeconomic status and studying in Government and Private Schools aged between 7-12 years were enrolled in the study. At the start, anthropometric measurements and baseline parameters like HR, BP, SPO2, PEFR, level of dyspnea were recorded and then children were made to walk for 6 minutes. After the walk changes in these parameters were taken as outcome measures.

Results: The Mean distance walked in 6 minute was 609 ± 166 m. Boys covered more distance than girls. Heart rate increased from a baseline of 82.73 ± 1.63 to a maximum of 104.32 ± 3.11; heart rate recovery occurred (>90%) at 5 min in both the genders. SBP (systolic blood pressure) increased from baseline 109 ± 2.38 to maximum of 121.86 ± 1.75 at the end of the test, with no significant increase in DBP. The 6 minute walk distance correlated well with higher level of dyspnea. No significant change in oxygen saturation was observed during the test.

Conclusions: The study provides data on normal values of 6MWT in healthy children, which may help to evaluate functional capacity and thus predict the morbidity risk in future and to know the effects of therapeutic interventions in the diseased children.


Exercise tolerance, 6 MWT, Submaximal exercise

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