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6-Minute Walk Test Performance in Young Children who are Normal Weight and Overweight

Pathare, Neeti, PT, PhD; Haskvitz, Esther M., PT, PhD, ATC; Selleck, Marjane, PT, DPT, MS, PCS

Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy Journal: December 2012 - Volume 23 - Issue 4 - p 12–18
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PURPOSE: The primary purpose of this study was to investigate 6-minute walk test (6MWT) performance in young children who were normal weight (NW) and overweight (OW).

METHODS: Seventy children, 5-9 years of age, participated in this study. The 6MWT was performed on an indoor walkway. Heart rate (HR), blood pressure (BP), and oxygen saturation (SaO2) were measured. A self-reported physical activity questionnaire was completed by a parent/guardian. Data were analyzed with independent t tests, ANOVA, correlation analyses, and logistic regression.

RESULTS: The systolic BP values were higher in the children who were OW compared with their NW peers (resting mean 104.1 (8.9) mmHg vs. 97.5 (7.8) mmHg, P < 0.05; post-6WMT: mean 118.4 (10.78) mmHg vs. 109.9 (9.1) mmHg, P < 0.05). The SaO2 values were lower in the children who were OW compared to their NW counterparts (resting: mean 97.2 (1.1) % vs. 98.0 (1.0) %, P < 0.05; post-6WMT: mean 96.8 (1.0) % vs. 97.7 (1.0) %, P < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: The children who were OW had higher systolic BP and lower SaO2 levels at rest and post-6WMT. More research is needed to determine if these differences contribute to children who are OW having difficulty performing exercise.

Department of Physical Therapy, The Sage Colleges, Troy, NY

Address correspondence to: Neeti Pathare, PT, PhD, Assistant Professor, Physical Therapy, The Sage Colleges, 65 1st Street, Troy, NY 12180 Ph: (518) 244-3127, Fax: (518) 244-4524 (

© 2012 Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Section, APTA
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