Six-minute walking test done in a hallway or on a treadmill: how close do the two methods agree?

Antoine F. Lenssen*, Lambert C. A. M. Wijnen, Dion G. Vankan, Bart H. Van Eck, Danielle P. Berghmans, George M. Roox

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background The 6-min walking test (6-MWT) is probably the most widely used test to measure the functional capacity in cardiac rehabilitation. Although the American Thoracic Society recommends testing on a flat surface, treadmills are also used for testing. Therefore, we want to investigate the interchangeability of results of treadmill and hallway 6-MWT in a population of patients participating in a cardiac rehabilitation programme. Design Preexperimental design. Setting University hospital Department of Cardiology and Physiotherapy. Participants Patients entering the cardiac rehabilitation programme of the Maastricht University Cardiology Department. Main outcome measure Agreement in 6-min walking distance between the hallway and treadmill test results were calculated by taking the mean difference between the two methods and the 95% confidence interval of the difference and plotting this against the average of the two test results. A Bland and Altman plot was constructed, showing the mean difference and the 95% limits of agreement between the two methods. Results Sixty-nine patients participated in this study. Mean difference between walking on a treadmill and walking in a hallway was 9 m in favour of the hallway test. The 95% limits of agreement were +/- 118 m. Conclusion Results of the 6-MWT conducted in a hallway or on a treadmill are not interchangeable, because of large between-test variations in the distances walked by individual participants. Eur J Cardiovasc Prev Rehabil 17:713-717
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)713-717
JournalEuropean Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention & Rehabilitation
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010


  • cardiac rehabilitation
  • 6-minute walking test
  • treadmill and hallway

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