Comparative analysis of oxygen uptake in elderly subjects performing two walk tests: the six-minute walk test and the 200-m fast walk test.Clin Rehabil. 2008 Feb; 22(2):162-8.CR
A novel walk test is proposed to assess the ability of elderly subjects to sustain a submaximal effort in ecological surroundings. Vo(2) uptake during this test was compared with that of a six-minute walk test and maximal exercise test.
Descriptive laboratory study.
Rehabilitation department, Dijon University Hospital.
Thirty-one subjects, aged from 70 to 85 years, free from any chronic disease.
Three tests to assess physical capacities: the 200-m fast walk test (200 mFWT), the six-minute walk test (6 MWT) at self-paced speed, and one maximal cardiorespiratory exercise test on an ergocycle.
Distance walked on the 6 MWT, time to perform the 200 mFWT. Heart rate (HR) and oxygen uptake (Vo(2)) were measured for each test.
All subjects successfully completed the two walk tests without any complaints. They walked more quickly during the 200 mFWT than during the 6 MWT (mean (SD) speed respectively 1.60 (0.17) versus 1.23 (0.16) m/s, P<0.001). Compared with the maximal exercise test, the relative intensity was much higher during the 200 mFWT than during the 6 MWT (mean (SD) Vo(2) uptake 86.8 (8.9)% versus 67.4 (10.7)% of peak Vo(2), mean (SD) HR 89.9 (9.4) versus 76.2 (0.8)% of peak HR; P<0.001).
In healthy elderly subjects, the 200 mFWT requires a more sustained effort than the 6 MWT. This test is simple, ecological and well tolerated. In addition to the 6 MWT, the 200 mFWT could be a useful tool to build up and evaluate training or rehabilitation programmes, especially when interval training is planned.