The aim of this study was to assess the reliability and validity of the 6-min walk test (6MWT) in healthy children. Chinese secondary school students were randomly recruited. They attended the current authors' unit on two occasions, separated by 2 weeks. Physical examination and standardised maximum incremental exercise testing on a treadmill were performed on the first visit. Spirometry and 6MWT were carried out on the second visit. A randomly selected subgroup was invited to return for repeat 6MWT at an interval of 2-4 weeks. Seventy-eight subjects were recruited; however, four failed to achieve maximal effort on exercise test. The final group included 43 young females and the mean±SD age of the subjects was 14.2±1.2 yrs. Physical examination was unremarkable in all cases. The mean±SD per cent predicted forced expiratory volume in one second was 91.4±10.2%. Concurrent validity was demonstrated by good correlation between the 6-min walking distance and maximum oxygen uptake determined on the exercise treadmill. Test-retest reliability was undertaken in 52 subjects, and the intraclass correlation coefficient (95% confidence interval) was calculated as 0.94 (0.89-0.96). In addition, Bland and Altman plots demonstrated a high degree of repeatability. In healthy children, the 6-min walk test is a reliable and valid functional test for assessing exercise tolerance and endurance.
- Six-minute walk
- Treadmill exercise
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine