California State University, Fullerton
gait speed, measurement, reliability, validity
Walking speed tests are powerful health screening tools, but variation in protocols present different diagnostic cutoffs. What distance for a gait speed test validly represents overall gait speed is unknown. To determine the optimal testing distance that represents overall gait speed. Vitals and measurements were taken from participants and were instructed to walk at their normal gait speed for 20m through Brower timing gates at every 5m. Speeds from 0-5m, 5-10m, and 10-20m were compared using a mixed effect model. The average speed for 0-5m segment was 1.361 m/s, 5-10m was 1.449 m/s, and the 10-20m average speed was 1.467 m/s. Comparing 0-5m to 5-10m, the estimated difference was 0.088 m/s with a 95% CI between 0.062-0.079 m/s with a p-value < 0.0001. Comparing 0-5m to 10-20m, the estimated difference was 0.106 m/s with a p-value of <0.0001. The estimated 5-10m to 10-20m difference was 0.018 m/s with a p-value of 0.18. The average gait speeds of the 5-10m and 10-20m segments were not significantly different when compared, but significantly different compared to the average gait speed for 0-5m. This was expected because a patient will still be accelerating to their actual walking speed in the first 5m. The most efficient distance for subjects to walk is between 5-10 meters. Using a walk speed test under 5 meters is not advised.
Saavedra, Rosalba; Bischoff, Brian; Weiss, Elijah; Kim, Steven; and Martin, Eric, "Optimal Distance for Normal Gait Speed Testing" (2019). CSU Student Research Competition Delegate Entries. 14.
Additional FilesWalk Study CSU Research Comp 2019.pdf (168 kB)