Six Min Walk Test

What are your thoughts on the test.Im 44 i have Pulmonary fibrosis and when im doing normal daily living stuff like up and down stairs. Walking out and about with slight inclines i like to do green bowling . i love archery and dancing with my partner. All these real time activities which are part of what makes me tick . these make my sats drop to between 87 .89 making me short of breath and upset and not being able to do things and compete to the best i can. Doc see my sat while sat in his treatment room at 95. 96 thats ok he says. Im having another 6 min walk test which my sats go to 93.94 this is no a true acount of my activities . so frustrating i cant lose weight just walking i nedd to be more active. I personally think its a false teat for a more younger active person . if your much older its provley a true reflection .your thoughts .



9 Replies

  • What about an exercise bike...that may help. My Hubby bought one because he needed to exercise but had a dreadfully bad knee which stopped him going for any long walks. :-)

  • Im having walk teat for ambulatory oxygen to ibprove my exercise levels. Due to fibrosis and losse of 44 percent lung function. Just that a 6 min walk test up a hospital corridor having to stop and turn round every 15 meters and isnt a true reflection of my blood sat levels while im truley exercising. I walk during the day at work with slight shortness of breath. I love going to gym things like the bike are good for me but due to drop in oxygen levels droping i can exercise at a level to enjoy and help me lose weight. I may have to be put on 2 ltr per min oxygen therapy. Jut for exercise and doing my hobbies.

  • I've had two SMW tests in recent months. In the September walk my sats fell to 78 and I was told I'd need ambulatory oxygen. But I had to do another test to confirm the result. For various reasons that test didn't happen until late November when I was once again in hospital after being really ill. This time the sats dropped to 89, came back up to 90 in the sixt minute and shot back up to 95 within about 30 seconds when I sat down. Because of this I was not prescribed oxygen after all. One of the doctors said you need three 6MWTs where you desat to 85 before they put you on Oxy but then you hear differently from others. Goood luck with the test !

  • Hi

    The six minute walk test is a good indicaters for Ambultory oxygen. As I am on ambultory oxygen at 2 Lpm I have the test every six months, the last indicated I needed 4 lpm.

    The need for oxygen is dependent on how far your Sats drop and how quickly they recover. Although it may help with your exercise tolerance it will not stop you being short of breath.

    Supplementary oxygen is mainly to maintain your sats at a acceptable level. Even with Oygen your sats will long as they keep to 92/93 they are normally quite happy.

    What you should do on your test is walk at greater pace, to emulate an higher level of exertion.

    Always remeber let you body tell you when to slow down, what was possible pre condition may not be possible now.

    Several periods of short exercise is just as good as any long session.

  • Thanks for the response.exercise tolerance is what i need to be able to exercise for longer periods to help me lose weight and to lead a more normal as active life as possible.

    I dont need it all the time.

    But from going from 23 years army service being able to run 8 mile

    Go to the baths and swim a mile each visit. Is very hard in my mind and body not to br as active as i wish to be. I know it wont cure put any thing that helps. Im quite young so im still try and want to be as active as possible.



  • I have that too. I get to see the GP after a wait in a warmish waiting room then told to sit out side for a few mins then when I get to see him and explain how I have been he pops the oxymeter on my finger sees it is 95% and says you are fine today. But when I say it is not when I am sitting down I have the problems. Even my consultant has said and told them in the letter I am exercise intolerant so will not put me in for PR or thinks I would be able to complete a walk test? but concludes my at rest sats are good???

    I checked my sats yesterday when I got up stairs as I was struggling more than usual and I was 73% but came up to 92% a little later.

    We are all so different but seem to be treated the same.

    Be well

  • Its so frustrating

    I totaly know where your coming from. What anoyes me is in one breathe their telling me to lose weight im telling them im struggling with exercise at a level to help lose weight.but like yoy say when im al nice and comy sat at rest my sats ar 95 im ok . what part of i cant exercise and lose weight and genrally get out and about sat at rest.

    And another thing they put the sat probe on your finger and record the first figure they see they should let it settle first.

    Trying to get them to listen is mad

    Cheers for the rant.


  • np dose you good to rant!

  • Hi, I am 58 years old now and when I was first diagnosed with IPF (2 years ago), I did not see much point in the 6MWT, probably because I was still so active. I would go to the gym and do 30 mins cardio/vascular, and during the exercise my sats would drop to 83, but they soon come back up when I stopped. My consultant was not too concerned about this either.

    However, two years down the line and my exercise regime is not what it was then. I have had one 6MWT, and my sats dropped to 87, that was about a year ago, and the outcome was that I was still too good for pulmonary rehab and oxygen.

    I am back to see my consultant on 25/2/15 and I hope I will be getting the full works, meaning PFT and 6MWT. I now think the 6MWT is a good indicator of how well your lungs are working, but you must go as fast as you possibly can.

    Hoping you are still too good to need oxygen Tony, and keep up the exercise.

    All the best to you,


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