The purpose of this study was to establish a normal database in children for one parameter of mobility, walking distance in 30 seconds. Also, we addressed the difference in distance walked by age and the contribution of several variables to the distance walked. Two hundred twenty-seven children between six and 13 years old were recruited from public schools in Iowa. Testing took place in standardized locations (eg, school gymnasiums) using standardized testing procedures. Distance walked in 30 seconds, age, height, right lower extremity length, weight, body type, gender, and race/ethnicity were recorded for each subject. Distance walked increased from six to eight years of age, plateaued from eight to 11 years, declined at 12 years, and increased at 13 years of age. Multiple linear regression identified leg length and weight as two variables explaining 14.4% of the variance in distance walked. The database provides a peer reference for use with children having suspected mobility limitations and is the beginning of a project to develop a Standard Task Measurement for Mobility.
© 1999 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.