Date of Award

Spring 5-2-2017

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Respiratory Therapy

First Advisor

Gerald S. Zavorsky

Second Advisor

Douglas S. Gardenhire

Third Advisor

Shi Huh Samuel Shan


The six-minute walk test (6MWT) measures the total distance that an individual walks in a time frame of six minutes. It is a rough estimate of the functional exercise capacity of a patient and can be a predictor of mortality and morbidity. The goal of the 6MWT is to walk as fast as possible to cover as much ground as possible in six minutes. Currently, there are about 24 studies that has developed prediction equations to estimate the 6MWT distance in an individual, but only ~10% of the subject pool were black. As such, this study aimed to establish a prediction equation for six-minute walk distance (6 MWD) in healthy black adults. A total of 60 healthy black adults (28 male, 32 female) aged between 18 to 67 years old and a body mass index ranging from 17.2 to 32.3 kg/m2 performed 6 MWT using American Thoracic Society guidelines for the 6MWT. Heart rate (HR) at rest was 80 (SD 10) beats/min and the mean HR for the full 6MWT was 137 (20) beats/min (72% of predicted HRmax). Males walked for a total distance of 709 (68) m (range of 603 to 841 m) while females walked for a total of 627 (55) m (range of 498 to 764 m). The first multiple regression model for healthy black adults was: Distance covered in six minutes = 78.39·(sex) + 2.02·(mean HR) + 2.03·(height in cm) + 8.0, Adjusted R2 = 0.58, SEE = 47.5 m, p < 0.001. The second model was: Distance covered (m) = 61.5·(sex) + 1.24 · (height in cm) + 424.8, adjusted R2 = 0.27, and the SEE = 62.5 m, p < 0.001. In conclusion, this regression model best predicts distance walked in black subjects < 40 years of age.