Walk tests

What are walk tests and what can they show?

Walk tests (also called exercise tests) measure how able a person is to do simple exercise (walking).

The most common walk tests are the 6-minute walk test and the shuttle walk test.

In the 6-minute walk test, you walk as far as you can up and down a corridor in 6 minutes. The shuttle walk test requires you to walk up and down a 10-metre distance at increasing speeds until you get too breathless to continue.

During walk tests your blood pressure, heart rate and oxygen levels are also measured.

Walk tests can show how able you are to do everyday tasks and can provide clues to the cause of some symptoms of pulmonary hypertension (PH). Walk tests are also a good way to measure how effective your PH treatment is and if any changes to treatment are needed.

You may have to do a walk test when you visit the PH clinic for a check-up.

Watch a video of someone doing a walk test, taken from the Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA UK) DVD Understanding Pulmonary Hypertension – a guide to diagnosis and treatment, here.