Normative Two-Minute Walk Test Distances for Boys and Girls 3 to 17 Years of Age

Phys Occup Ther Pediatr. 2018 Feb;38(1):39-45. doi: 10.1080/01942638.2016.1261981. Epub 2017 Jan 27.


Aims: To provide normative reference values for the 2-minute walk test (2MWT) for children and adolescents.

Methods: A population-based sample of 2,631 boys and girls (3-17 years) contributed data to this 2011 study which was part of the NIH Toolbox for the Assessment of Neurological and Behavioral Function Norming Project. The 2MWT was performed over a 50 foot (15.2 meter) out-and-back course.

Results: Overall, the mean (standard deviation) distance walked by the participants was 186.2 (33.9) meters. As a general linear model demonstrated that gender (F = 11.0, p =.001) and age (F = 127.6, p <.001) affected 2MWT distance, separate norms are provided for each gender and age stratum (e.g., 3-year-old boys,16-year-old girls). Based on these findings and correlational and regression analysis, separate explanatory equations for 2MWT distance for boys and girls are provided. The separate equations for boys and girls include age, age squared, height, and body mass as variables that explain around 40% of the variance in 2MWT distance.

Conclusions: The study presents norms for the 2MWT performed by American boys and girls. The norms can be used to determine the presence of limitations in walking endurance in this population.

Keywords: cardiorespiratory parameters; exercise test; outcome assessment; walk test; walking.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Reference Values
  • Sex Factors
  • Walk Test / methods*
  • Walking / physiology*