6-Minute Walk Test
The 6-minute walk test (6MWT) measures the distance (6MWD) that a person can quickly walk on a flat, hard surface in 6 min. The test is submaximal and self-paced, with rest breaks allowed as needed.
Historically, aerobic functional capacity has been evaluated by asking a person “how many flights of stairs can you climb?” or “how many blocks can you walk?” Due to poor reliability and validity of such questioning, more objective methods have been established. In 1963, Balke created a simple test of the distance a person could walk in a specified amount of time. In 1968, Cooper described a 12 min overground walking test for healthy individuals, which was adapted for patients with chronic bronchitis in 1976. The 6MWT was created to accommodate persons with respiratory disease for whom a 12 min span was excessive. The test has been adopted for use for persons with a wide range of different cardiopulmonary diseases as well as orthopedic...
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