Six Minute Walk Test

Six minute walk testing is done to assess functional exercise levels for daily activities. The object of this test is to walk for as far as possible for six minutes.

Who performs the testing?

A Respiratory Therapist will perform your test. A Pulmonologist will interpret the results and provide your physician with a report.

Indications for PFT testing

Including but not limited to:

  • Pre & post intervention assessment
  • Assessment of functional status
  • Home oxygen assessment

When is a test contraindicated?

Including but not limited to:

  • Unstable angina in the previous month
  • Myocardial infarction in previous month
  • Sp02 less than 88%
  • Resting heart rate greater than 120mmhg
  • Systolic blood pressure of more than 180mmhg
  • Diastolic blood pressure of more than 100mmhg

How do I prepare?

Plan on arriving 15 minutes before your appointment for check-in. You will check in at the patient registration desk in the main lobby of the hospital.

  • Comfortable clothing should be worn.
  • Appropriate shoes for walking should be worn.
  • Patients should use their usual walking aids during the test (cane, walker, etc.).
  • The patient’s usual medical regimen should be continued.
  • A light meal is acceptable before early morning or early afternoon tests.
  • Patients should not have exercised vigorously within 2 hours of beginning the test.

What do I do during testing?

  • The object of this test is to walk as far as possible for 6 minutes. You will walk back and forth in a hallway. Six minutes is a long time to walk, so you will be exerting yourself. You will probably get out of breath or become exhausted. You are permitted to slow down, to stop, and to rest as necessary.
  • You may lean against the wall while resting, but resume walking as soon as you are able.
  • You will be asked to wear/use your personal oxygen equipment during testing if this is part of your normal routine.
  • Your ability to perform and follow the testing instructions will impact the quality of your test results.


  • Chest pain
  • Intolerable dyspnea
  • Leg crapms
  • Staggering
  • Diaphoresis
  • Pale or ashen appearance
  • Saturation less than 88%

How do I get my test results?

You may receive a copy of your test results by contacting the Health Information Department at 509-946-4611, ext 2017.

How do I schedule an appointment?

Tests must be ordered by a physician. To make an appointment call 509-946-4611 ext 2655.