The six-minute walk test in healthy children: Reliability and validity

A. M. LI, J. YIN, Chung Wah Clare YU, T. TSANG, H. K. SO, E. WONG, D. CHAN, E. K. L. HON, R. SUNG

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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. Copyright © 2005 ERS Journals Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1057-1060
JournalEuropean Respiratory Journal
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2005


Reproducibility of Results
Physical Examination
Exercise Tolerance
Forced Expiratory Volume
Exercise Test
Confidence Intervals
Walk Test


Li, A. M., Yin, J., Yu, C. C. W., Tsang, T., So, H. K., Wong, E., . . . Sung, R. (2005). The six-minute walk test in healthy children: Reliability and validity. European Respiratory Journal, 25(6), 1057-1060. doi: 10.1183/09031936.05.00134904


  • Children
  • Six-minute walk
  • Treadmill exercise