6-Minute Walk Test (6-MWT or SMWT)

American Thoracic Society


Basic description

  • Walking tests have been used since the 1960s, with the first reported walking test being that of Balke (1963) 12-minute walk or run designed for the Federal Aviation Agency
  • Today they are used for a diverse range of illnesses (i.e. rheumatic conditions, heart conditions, respiratory conditions)
  • The following content will describe the 6-minute walking test (6-MWT; SMWT; 6MWT) as per the guidelines and information of the American Thoracic Society (published in 2002) and the American College of Rheumatology (reviewed in 2015)

American Thoracic Society

No information
-To measure response to medical interventions in patients with moderate to severe heart or lung disease
-To measure functional status of patients
-To serve as a predictor of morbidity and mortality
Therapeutic area
  • Generic
Therapeutic indication


Type of Clinical Outcome Assessment (COA)
  • perfo PerfO
Original language(s)
  • English
2 translation(s)
Bibliographic reference(s) of the original questionnaire

Holland AE, Spruit MA, Troosters T, Puhan MA, Pepin V, Saey D, McCormack MC, Carlin BW, Sciurba FC, Pitta F, Wanger J, MacIntyre N, Kaminsky DA, Culver BH, Revill SM, Hernandes NA, Andrianopoulos V, Camillo CA, Mitchell KE, Lee AL, Hill CJ, Singh SJ. An official European Respiratory Society/American Thoracic Society technical standard: field walking tests in chronic respiratory disease. Eur Respir J. 2014 Dec;44(6):1428-46 (Full text article)

Balke B. A simple field test for the assessment of physical fitness. Report Civil Aeromedical Research Institute (U.S.) 1963;53:1–8

Member Access

Subscribe to PROQOLID to access to full information

Access to advanced descriptions of Clinical Outcome Assessments (COAs)

A question? Contact us