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Phys Ther. 1990 Jul;70(7):439-42.

Comparison of corridor and treadmill walking in patients with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

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  • 1Institute for Rehabilitation Research, Hoensbroek, The Netherlands.


The maximal distance walked in a given time period is frequently used as a simple method to evaluate exercise tolerance in patients suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Typically, patients walk on a treadmill or in a corridor at a self-paced speed. Little information is available about the differences between exercise performance in patients with COPD when using the two tests. Therefore, we compared 12-minute corridor walking and 12-minute self-paced treadmill walking in 11 patients with severe COPD. Distances covered in 2, 6, and 12 minutes and walking speeds were significantly higher during corridor walking than during treadmill walking. Heart rate values during the two procedures were not significantly different, and the same degree of breathlessness was found after both walking tests. The study illustrates that corridor walking is a simple and adequate form of exercise testing. Based on heart rate responses, corridor walking appears to be more efficient than treadmill walking, possibly because patients are more familiar with walking in a corridor than on a treadmill. Corridor walking is therefore a useful method to evaluate exercise tolerance and the effects of exercise training programs in patients with COPD.

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