Other studies have found similar results. A 2006 study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that walking at an average pace can reduce your risk of dying from heart disease by 24% compared to slow walkers. Even though these studies asked people to make their best guess of their walking pace, the six-minute walk test can look at your cardiovascular health.
The American Thoracic Society published the guidelines for the six-minute walk test in a 2002 statement in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. The test is done indoors in a 100-foot hallway that doesn’t have an incline or any obstructions. You walk as far as you can in six minutes, taking any rest breaks if needed. The six-minute walking test can be used before a health intervention as a baseline and then followed up afterward to see if there’s an improvement.
A 2012 study in Archives in Internal Medicine used the six-minute walking test to predict the risk of a cardiovascular event in people who had stable coronary heart disease. People who covered the least amount of distance in the six-minute walking test were four times more likely to experience heart failure, a heart attack, or death compared to those who could walk longer distances in six minutes.