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

Neeti Pathare, Esther M Haskvitz, Marjane Selleck
Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy Journal 2012, 23 (4): 12-8

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 (SaO(2)) 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 SaO(2) 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 SaO(2) 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.

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