An Investigation into Submaximal Endurance in Children with Motor Difficulties Using the Six-Minute Walk Test
This study investigated the submaximal endurance levels of children with motor difficulties, using the six-minute walk test (6MWT). A prospective, cross-sectional study was conducted. Forty-eight children between ages seven and ten years were enrolled. They came from similar socio-economic backgrounds and attended schools in close proximity to each other. Participants were allocated to groups based on inclusion and exclusion criteria. We defined a group with motor difficulty (n= 31) and a control group (n =17). The 6MWT was employed to measure average distance covered by each group in six minutes. Measures of heart rate, breathing rate, height, weight and peak flow are taken before and after the 6MWT for purposes of matching and comparing with international norming procedures for the 6MWT. Results were analyzed using the Student t-test. Where observed data did not have a normal (Gaussian) distribution the non-parametric Mann-Whitney U-test was employed. In six minutes, the affected group covered a significantly shorter distance than the control group [376 m ± 73.33 versus 430 m ± 60.85]. Comparisons of anthropometric and physiological data showed no significant differences between the groups. The 6MWT can be used by practitioners to objectively measure change in submaximal endurance in children affected by motor difficulties.
Keywords: Submaximal endurance, children, motor difficulties, six-minute walk test.
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