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6 minute walk test

Could some of you share your experience of having the 6 minute walk test?

I'm new here and will be sharing more in later posts, but right now I am scheduled to have this test and I'm frightened, both about the test itself and the results.

I don't know what stage my COPD is at, but it's severe, and I feel pretty sure I will come away from the test being placed on oxygen therapy.

  1. Hi Shadygrove, and welcome!! While I am hopeful others in the community will respond to your concern, and share their own personal experiences with the 6-minute walk test, I did want to make a comment as well.
    For most patients I interact with, there is really nothing to be 'frightened' of when it comes to this test. I do understand, however, some of your anxiety, as any diagnostic procedure can be intimidating until the results are delivered.
    For some folks with this condition, oxygen is a necessary and important part of treatment and therapy. If the need for oxygen is prescribed, it means the patient should be feeling more comfortable once it is being used. Many patients I know keep that in perspective and continue living productive lives.
    Let's wait and see how the test turns out for you, and, discuss this further as you see fit.
    What do you think?
    Leon (site moderator

    1. I did fine on the 6 minute walk test although at about 3 minutes it starts getting a little harder to breathe. I focus on my breathing and really push myself and each time have managed to do better than the last time!

    2. Hi . I noticed you are new to the community. Welcome! We're glad to hear your test went well and that your breathing has improved with each test. Why do you suppose the tests are getting easier? Are you exercising? Wishing you the best. - Lori (Team Member)

  2. Thank you very much for your reply. I'll sure try to keep your good advice in mind.

    1. Hi again, Shadygrove - it's my pleasure. Naturally I am here to provide whatever support I can for your particular situation. I do understand how you are feeling. When are you scheduled to be tested? Be strong, and give it your best effort without overdoing it. We're all pulling for you.
      Warm regards,
      Leon (site moderator

    2. Whirledpeas, I wish you the best with it!

  3. My test is scheduled for June 28.

    1. Mine is July 27. Will let you know how it goes.

    2. @

  4. Hi! I hear you! I am at the very severe stage, and have been doing 6 minute walk tests usually every six months for several years. My pulmonologist's staff sets out cones down a long hallway, and you just walk, holding a pulse oximeter with a large readout, end to end, as long as you can, or until six minutes are up. You walk at your own pace. Since I use oxygen to sleep, I use it for the test. It lets me go farther than I would be able to without it.

    The last several I have not been able to complete. I have dreaded going because of it, even though it's not for punishment, and there is no failure. The test is strictly to measure how far you can get before you are out of breath.

    The nurse jots it down, and the doctor compares it to the last time, or uses it as a baseline. The last time, the doc said I went farther in less time. Have no idea what that means in medical terms, but it sounds good.

    However, I have been walking on a treadmill for a couple months, and I am now able to walk for 8 minutes. I have my next appointment the end of July, and I don't dread it.

    By the way, welcome to the group. You will find lots of important info, friendly voices, and interesting stories. It is addictive. Please let me know how it goes.

    1. ,
      Thank you for your very informative reply. You did a great job of sharing info that helps me understand a little more about what to expect with the test, and I appreciate your taking the time to share.
      Your treadmill workouts sound as if they are helping you and I am glad you don't dread your next walk test.
      Do you normally use your oxygen only to sleep?

    2. I replied to you last night. Not sure where that went! Anyway, I use the oxygen normally for sleeping, or exertion like vacuuming. I also use a portable when I go out, just in case.

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