Field walking tests: 6-minute walk and shuttle walk tests

Annemarie L. Lee, Theresa Harvey-Dunston, Sally Singh, Anne E. Holland

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Otherpeer-review


In people with chronic lung disease, the assessment of exercise capacity gives important information that can assist with staging disease, assessing prognosis, and evaluating effects of therapy. Field walking tests are a useful alternative to laboratory-based exercise tests as they require minimal equipment and can be performed across many settings where people with chronic respiratory disease receive their care. The 6-minute walk test is a self-paced test of functional exercise capacity that is widely used across many disease groups. The 6-minute walk test is reliable and valid; however, it is sensitive to small changes in methodology, and therefore standardization is required. The incremental shuttle walk test is a measure of peak exercise capacity. It is externally paced according to auditory cues, allowing very good standardization. The endurance shuttle walk test is a constant speed test that is particularly sensitive for detecting changes following interventions. This chapter details the measurement properties of each field walking test, protocols to ensure standardized conduct, strategies to interpret results, and clinical examples of their application.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPulmonary Function Tests
Subtitle of host publicationPrinciples and Practice
EditorsDavid A. Kaminsky, Charles G. Irvin
Place of PublicationSwitzerland
PublisherHumana Press
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9783319941592
ISBN (Print)9783319941585
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Publication series

NameRespiratory Medicine
ISSN (Print)2197-7372
ISSN (Electronic)2197-7380

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