Date of Degree

5-2015

Document Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

D.P.T.

Program

Physical Therapy

Advisor

Maureen Becker

Subject Categories

Physical Therapy

Abstract

Fifty-one healthy adolescents of both gender without any neuromuscular, musculoskeletal or cardiopulmonary disorders and between the ages of 12 and 17 with a mean age of 14.09 years (SD: 1.45 years) were recruited to participate in the 6-minute walk test. Several measurements such as height, weight and leg length were taken before testing, along with heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen saturation (SPO2) before, after and 10 minutes post 6-minute walk test. Walk distance was also quantified and used as an outcome measure. The adolescents were divided into two groups prior to statistical testing. The first group was classified as the “normal” weight group (n=41) and were characterized as normal if their body mass index (BMI) percentile was less than 85%. The second group was classified as the “overweight” weight group (n=10) and were characterized as overweight if their body mass index percentile was over 85%. Results from a multivariate regression analysis (OLS) suggest there is a significant, negative relationship between body mass index (BMI) and walk distance when controlling for leg length and age in the sample. The same statistical analysis indicates a significant, positive relationship between leg length and walk distance, controlling for BMI and age. An analysis of variance was performed for this study in order to investigate if there was any significance in change of blood pressure, SPO2 and heart rate over the three trials between the overweight and normal BMI groups. These tests revealed no significance in performance or change in vital sign between the two groups. Based on our results, we conclude that the 6-minute walk test can be used as a reliable assessment of physical fitness in the adolescent population.

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