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A Journal on Pediatrics, Neonatology, Adolescent Medicine,
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

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Minerva Pediatrica 2011 October;63(5):375-84

language: English

Outcomes and cardiac response of overweight prepubescent to the 6 minutes walk test

Guinhouya B. C.

Laboratory of Public Health, EA 2694 +UDSL/ILIS, University Lille-Northern France.Loos, France


The six-minute walk test (6-MWT) has proved to be clinically relevant to assess the ability to perform daily activities. This study aimed at examining the performance and the heart rate (HR) response of overweight/obese children to the 6-MWT as compared their leaner pairs. Seventeen overweight children, aged 10.1±0.8 yrs, were matched to 34 normal-weight children according to age, height, and gender. All children underwent anthropometry and performed a 6-MWT. Heart rate (HR) and blood pressure (BP) were recorded at rest, during, and after the test. Overweight children walked the same distance (623±107 m) when compared to their normal-weight pairs (611±67 m) (P=0.881). Nonetheless, the work granted in the 6-MWT (i.e., 6 MWWk) was more important among overweight children (P<0.0001). Furthermore, only the 6 MWWk was correlated to the usual physical activity of children (r=-0.306 to -0.337, P<0.05). There was no difference in HR or its course during the test and in BP between overweight and normal-weight children. The 6-MWT elicits the HR of children at the same level and following an identical course regardless the weight status. Because of its relationships with the usual physical activity of children, the 6 MWWk needs to be considered as an important clinical outcome when the functional capacity of children is to be evaluated. There seems to be no contraindication to the 6-MWT among overweight/obese children free from any visible or declared orthopedic or musculoskeletal complications.

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