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6 Minute Walk Test

6 Minute Walk Test

Age Years






Dis. Walked


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Expected 6 Minute Walk Distance for healthly patient

6 minute walk test


Percentage of expected distance for healthly patient

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What is the 6 minute walk test?


The 6 minute walk test (6MWT) is the test that measures a functional status or fitness. A six minute walk test was developed by the ‘American Thoracic Society’; this test was officially introduced in 2002 along with comprehensive guideline. A 6 min walk test is utilized as a simple measure of aerobic exercise capacity. After this test, your health care provider may or may not lead to doing more balanced measures of your heart and lung function. And, this 6 minutes walk test is great to monitor your response to treatments for lung, heart, and various health problems. Typically, this test utilized for individuals who are suffering from pulmonary hypertension, interstitial lung disease, pre-lung transplant evaluation or COPD. Additionally, you can utilize our most accurate 6-minute walk test calculator and know how much distance you have to cover within 6 minutes with concerning your age, gender, height, weight, and distance walked!


Conditions Where 6MWT Can Be Used

Here are the conditions where the 6-minute walk test can be utilized are given below:
•Multiple Sclerosis
•Parkinson’s Disease
•Spinal Cord Injury
•Muscle disorders
•Spinal Muscular Atrophy
•Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease
Before starting 6MWT, you ought to read about the 6 minute walk test norms properly!

6MWT Equipment

The equipment needed to conduct the 6 minute walk distance is mentioned below:
There is a need for a single chair, positioned it at one end of the walking course
You have to bring validated scale to measure dyspnoea like “Modified breathlessness scale” and subjective fatigue
Get Sphygmomanometer to measure blood pressure
Pulse oximeter
There is a need for pre-measured marks along the track
Access to oxygen and telephone “for an instant emergency.”
First aid or an emergency plan
There is a need for portable supplement oxygen if required by the patient to perform an exercise test
Get a clipboard with reporting sheet and pen

Before the 6MWT:

Before 6 minutes walk test, you have to obtain a medical history for the tester, and there is a need to take into account any precautions or contraindications to exercise testing. 
You have to instruct your tester to wear a dress that keeps comfortable and wear proper footwear. Additionally, the tester ought to avoid consuming any food at least an hour before performing the 6MWT
If there is any prescribed inhaled bronchodilator medication for the tester, then it should have taken within an hour of testing or when the patient available for testing
Before six minute walk test, the tester should have to rest for maximum 15 minutes
Record include Blood pressure, Heart rate, Oxygen saturation, and Dyspnoea score


6 Minute Walk Test Instruction

Before stick, to the given instruction, you have to make a 6 minute walk test form on a laminated card and read them thoroughly to get efficient results.

Before the Test:

There is a need to attach the oximeter to the tester;it is a great way to check through the test without interfering with a walking pace
You have to describe the walking track to the tester and then give the tester the following instruction
The basic aim of the 6 min walk test to keep walking as far as possible for 6 minutes. Additionally, the tester will walk along this hallway between the markers, as many times as tester can in 6 minutes
Keep in mind that, each minute goes past, and then at six minutes, you have to stop where you are
No doubt 6 minutes is a long time to walk, a tester is permitted to slow down, to stop, and even to rest as necessary, but the tester resume walking as soon as possible
The tester should have to walk as far as possible for 6 minutes, but don’t try to run or jog

During the Test:

You have to use the following standard and encouragements to get 6 minute walk test normal values:
After the 1st min – You are doing well, and it means you just have 5 minutes to go
When your stopwatch shows 2 min– there is a need to keep up the good work, and it means you have 4 minutes to go
When your stopwatch shows 3 min – You are doing well, and it means you are on halfway
When your stopwatch shows 4 min – Keep up the good work, and it means you have only 2 minutes left
When your stopwatch shows 5 min – You are doing well, and it means you have only 1 minute to go
When your stopwatch shows 6 min – Stop instantly where you are
Keep in mind, if the patient stops during the six minute walk test, every 30’s once SpO2 are greater than 85 percent “then there is a need to resume walking whenever you feel able.”

At the End of the 6MWT:

You have to place a marker on the distance walked
Then, let seat the tester and if tester prefers, then allow him to stand
Once done, then immediately record oxygen saturation (SpO2)%, heart rate and dyspnoea rating on the 6MWT recording sheet
There is a need to understand the reason for test termination/limitation as it helps the tester to know whey they could not walk any further
There is a need to measure the excess distance using a tape measure and should tally up the total distance
The tester needs to stay at clinical area maximum for 15 minutes to perform some uncomplicated test

The Bottom Line:

Typically, the clinician does not walk with the tester during the 6 minutes walk test to avoid setting the walking pace. So,it is immensely important to worn pulse oximeter continuously as with the ease of these levels to be recorded at every minute.
Sometime, the clinician may choose to walk with the tester throughout the 6MWT; in this case, clinician should try to walk slightly behind the tester.