Estimating cardiorespiratory fitness in well-functioning older adults: treadmill validation of the long distance corridor walk

J Am Geriatr Soc. 2006 Jan;54(1):127-32. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2005.00530.x.


Objectives: To determine criterion validity of the 400-m walk component of the Long Distance Corridor Walk (LDCW) and develop equations for estimating peak oxygen consumption (VO2) from 400-m time and factors intrinsic to test performance (e.g., heart rate (HR) and systolic blood pressure (SBP) response) in older adults.

Design: Cross-sectional validation study.

Setting: Gerontology Research Center, National Institute on Aging, Baltimore, Maryland.

Participants: Healthy volunteers (56 men and 46 women) aged 60 to 91 participating in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging between August 1999 and July 2000.

Measurements: The LDCW, consisting of a 2-minute walk followed immediately by a 400-m walk "done as quickly as possible" over a 20-m course was administered the day after maximal treadmill testing. HR and SBP were measured before testing and at the end of the 400-m walk. Weight, height, activity level, perceived effort, and stride length were also acquired.

Results: Peak VO2 ranged from 12.2 to 31.1 mL oxygen/kg per minute, and 400-m time ranged from 2 minutes 52 seconds to 6 minutes 18 seconds. Correlation between 400-m time and peak VO2 was -0.79. The estimating equation from linear regression included 400-m time (partial coefficient of determination (R2)=0.625), long versus short stride (partial R2=0.090), ending SBP (partial R2=0.019), and a correction factor for fast 400-m time (<240 seconds; partial R2=0.020) and explained 75.5% of the variance in peak VO2 (correlation coefficient=0.87).

Conclusion: A 400-m walk performed as part of the LDCW provides a valid estimate of peak VO2 in older adults. Incorporating low-cost, safe assessments of fitness in clinical and research settings can identify early evidence of physical decline and individuals who may benefit from therapeutic interventions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Algorithms
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Cardiovascular Physiological Phenomena*
  • Exercise Test*
  • Female
  • Heart Rate / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology*
  • Physical Fitness / physiology*
  • Reference Values
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Respiratory Physiological Phenomena*
  • Walking / physiology*