What are standard phrases of encouragement during a six-minute walk test (6mwt)?

Updated: May 14, 2020
  • Author: Kevin McCarthy, RPFT; Chief Editor: Nader Kamangar, MD, FACP, FCCP, FCCM  more...
  • Print


The 6mwd is sensitive to the influence of the operator administering the test. It is recommended that the following standard phrases of encouragement be delivered in an even tone of voice at 1-minute intervals in order to minimize the influence of the operator:

  • 1 minute: You are doing well. You have 5 minutes to go.

  • 2 minutes: Keep up the good work. You have 4 minutes to go.

  • 3 minutes: You are doing well. You are halfway.

  • 4 minutes: Keep up the good work. You have only 2 minutes left.

  • 5 minutes: You are doing well. You have only 1 minute to go.

  • 6 minutes: Please stop where you are.

  • If the patient stops during the test, every 30 seconds once the SpO2 is greater than 85%: Please resume walking whenever you feel able.

The total distance walked in 6 minutes is the primary outcome of the test. The lowest, stable SpO2 and the heart rate at the end of the walk should be recorded. The postwalk blood pressure should be measured as soon as possible after ending the walk, and the modified Borg scale should be shown to the patient to assess his or her perception of dyspnea and fatigue during the walk.

Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!