The 6-min walk test (6MWT) has gained importance in the assessment of functional exercise capacity in patients with chronic respiratory disease. It is reliable, inexpensive, safe and easy to apply. In addition, it correlates well with important outcomes including death.
The ability to walk for a distance is a quick and inexpensive measure of physical function. It is an important component of quality of life, since it reflects the capacity to undertake day-to-day activities.
Several types of diseases reduce the distance walked in 6 min (6MWD). These include obstructive lung disease, heart failure, arthritis, and neuromuscular disease.
You can calculate the percentile band into which you would fall compared to people of the same gender and age and weight and height.
Think of it as where you would come in a race of 100 people who share your characteristics.
The 6MWT assesses the distance walked in 6 minutes as a submaximal test of aerobic capacity and endurance.
Gender-specific regression equations can be used to explain 40% of the variance in the distance walked. The 6MWD is significantly shorter for men who are older heavier and shorter.