Six minute walk distance: reference values in healthy Italian children.

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INTRODUCTION: The 6-minute walk test (6MWT) is a simple assessment tool to evaluate exercise capacity. The result of the test is the distance that a subject can walk at a constant and normal pace within 6 minutes (6MWD) and reflects walking function at a submaximal level (Crapo RO et al., 2002). Use of 6MWT on healthy children has been relevant to assess exercise tolerance (Rostagno C., 2003) and to compare it to pathological conditions (Paridon SM et al.,2006). Our aim was to find reference values for the 6MWT in healthy Italian chil- dren. METHODS: The 6MWT was performed by 5614 children between 6 and 11 years, following the instructions outlined in the ATS guidelines (Crapo RO et al., 2002). Summary statistics are expressed as means and standard deviations or percentages, as appropriate. Age- related percentiles (mean±SD of 3rd, 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th, 90th and 97th centiles) of the 6MWD were developed for males and females. Pearsons correlation coefficients were calculated between 6MWD and demographic data. A multiple linear regression model was as- sessed to predict expected 6MWT performance. All analyses were conducted using STATA/SE, a p-value of less than 0.05 was consid- ered significant. RESULTS: Males walked longer distances than females, respectively 598.8±83.9 m vs 592.1±77.6 m (p=0.0016). Values ranged between 513.3±60.4 m for 6 years old children to 656.1±71.6 m for 11. The 50th percentile values resulted in 511 m, 554 m, 603 m, 624 m, 649 m and 670.8 m for boys aged 6 to 11 years old, respectively. Differently, the 50th percentile values resulted in 512 m, 543 m, 597 m, 620 m, 643 m and 655 m for girls aged 6 to 11 years old. A moderate correlation was found between 6MWD and age, weight and height (re- spectively rho = 0.58; 0.32; 0.52; p < 0.0001). In regression analysis, we found that age, gender and height were positively related to 6MWD, while weight was negatively related with 6MWD [6MWD = 107.91 + 25.02× age (years) +7.52× gender (M) +2.62× height (cm) −2.25× weight (Kg)]. CONCLUSION: Reference values were established for the 6MWT in Italian healthy children. The 6MWD percentiles according to age pro- vided a useful tool in the assessment of capacity in children aged 6-11 years.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteECSS’s 23th Annual Congress of the European College of Sport Science, Book of Abstract
Numero di pagine1
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2018
EventoECSS’s 23th Annual Congress of the European College of Sport Science - Dublin, Ireland
Durata: 4 lug 20187 lug 2018


ConvegnoECSS’s 23th Annual Congress of the European College of Sport Science
CittàDublin, Ireland


  • 6 minuti walking test, normative values


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