The 6-min walk test is a simple, rapid, and low-cost method that determines tolerance to exercise. We examined the reproducibility of the 6-min walk test in 16 children with cystic fibrosis (11 female, 5 male; age range, 11.0 +/- 1.9 years). We related the distance walked and the work performed (distance walked x body weight) with nutritional (body mass index and respiratory muscle strength) and clinical (degree of bronchial obstruction and Shwachman score) status. Patients were asked to walk as far as possible upon verbal command on two occasions. There was no statistical difference between distances walked (582.3 +/- 60 and 598.2 +/- 56.8 m, P = 0.31), heart rate, respiratory rate, pulse oxygen saturation, arterial blood pressure, dyspnea, and percentage of maximal heart rate for age in the two tests. Distance walked correlated (Pearson) with maximal expiratory pressure (98.6 +/- 28.1 cmH2O, r = 0.60, P < 0.01), maximal heart rate (157.9 +/- 10.1 bpm, r = 0.59, P < 0.02), Borg dyspnea scale (1.7 +/- 2.4, r = 0.55, P < 0.03), and double product (blood pressure x heart rate; r = 0.59, P < 0.02). The product of distance walked and body weight (work) correlated (Pearson) with height (r = 0.83, P = 0.000), maximal expiratory pressure (r = 0.64, P < 0.01), systolic blood pressure (r = 0.56, P < 0.02), and diastolic blood pressure (r = 0.55, P < 0.03). We conclude that the 6-min walk test is reproducible and easy to perform in children and adolescents with cystic fibrosis. The distance walked was related to the clinical variables studied. Work in the 6-min walk test may be an additional parameter in the determination of physical capacity.