Walking speed: The functional vital sign

Addie Middleton, Stacy L. Fritz, Michelle Lusardi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

266 Scopus citations

Abstract

Walking speed (WS) is a valid, reliable, and sensitive measure appropriate for assessing and monitoring functional status and overall health in a wide range of populations. These capabilities have led to its designation as the "sixth vital sign". By synthesizing the available evidence on WS, this scholarly review article provides clinicians with a reference tool regarding this robust measure. Recommendations on testing procedures for assessing WS, including optimal distance, inclusion of acceleration and deceleration phases, instructions, and instrumentation are given. After assessing an individual's WS, clinicians need to know what this value represents. Therefore, WS cut-off values and the corresponding predicted outcomes, as well as minimal detectable change values for specific populations and settings are provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)314-322
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of aging and physical activity
Volume23
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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