The 6-minute walking test (6MWT) is a simple assessment tool to evaluate exercise capacity. Existing six-minute walking dis- tance (6MWD) prediction equations were developed using healthy children . Our aim was to evaluate the predictors of 6MWD in healthy Italian children. Methods: In our cross-sectional study, we performed 6MWT in 5614 children aged 6–11 years between November 2016 and May 2017. We used Student t test for independent data or Mann–Whitney test to compare the quantitative variables between age groups and gender. We assessed a multiple linear regression model to estimate a pre- diction equation for the 6MWD. Performance and goodness of fit of the models were assessed using the root-mean-square error and R-squared measures. A p-value \ 0.05 was considered significant. Results: Mean distance walked for all participants was 595.5 ± 80.9 m (range 360–800 m). We observed significant differ- ences about gender and age: males walked longer distances than females (598.8 ± 83.9 m vs 592.1 ± 77.6 m; p = 0.0016), while in younger children (6–8 years) correlations between 6MWD and demographic/anthropometric data were significantly higher compared with older children (9–11 years; p \ 0.0001). The regression model showed that age, gender and height were positively related to 6MWD, while weight was negatively related (6MWD = 107.91 ? 25.02 9 age (years) ? 7.52 9 gender (M) ? 2.62 9 height (m) - 2.25 9 weight (kg). Conclusions: Our study confirmed that demographic and anthropo- metric characteristics can influence the test performance in healthy subjects. In our model, age, gender, height and weight significantly add information and should be taken into account in this particular growth phase. The 6MWT is feasible in education’s environment: school could be a main setting to implement primary prevention by using motor assessment.
- 6 minute walking test, exercise capacity