This test is used as a brief assessment of overall pulmonary function.

Performing the Test

  1. Time the patient as they take a 2.4 m (8 ft) walk at their normal pace
  2. Repeat the walk and note the fastest time
  3. Observe the rate, effort, and breathing while the patient is ambulating

Older, non-disabled patients taking < 3.1 seconds are at lower risk of becoming disabled over time than those > 5.6 second.


  1. Bickley LS. The thorax and lungs. In: Bickley LS, Szilagyi PG. Bates' Guide to Physical Examination and History Taking. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2009:283-321.