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Six minute walk distance is greater when performed in a group than alone
  1. D Grindrod1,
  2. C D Paton1,
  3. W L Knez2,
  4. B J O’Brien3
  1. 1Wintec, Hamilton, New Zealand
  2. 2James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland, Australia
  3. 3School of Human Movement and Sport Sciences, University of Ballarat, Mt Helen, Victoria, Australia
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr O’Brien
 School of Human Movement and Sport Sciences, University of Ballarat, PO Box 663, Mt Helen, Victoria 3533, Australia; b.obrien{at}


Objective: To investigate whether the distance covered in the six minute walk test was affected by walking with a group of others in comparison with performing the test alone.

Methods: Eight healthy men (mean (SD) age 21.0 (0.9) years) and eight healthy women (mean (SD) age 20.8 (2.0) years) performed in random order two six minute walk tests either alone or in a group of four on two separate occasions one week apart.

Results: Distance covered increased significantly from a mean of 653 (61) m in the individual male tests to 735 (79) m in the male group tests (p<0.05), and 616 (75) m in the individual female tests to 701 (54) m in the female group tests (p<0.01). The men increased the distance walked in six minutes by 12.5% and the women by 13.7% when they performed the test as a group.

Conclusion: Performing the six minute walk test in a group facilitates its execution.

  • social facilitation
  • exercise testing
  • six minute walk test

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  • Published Online First 18 August 2006

  • Competing interests: none declared