Though graded exercise testing is the gold standard for assessing cardiorespiratory fitness, submaximal exercise testing is also useful to assess cardiorespiratory status and functional capacity when maximal testing is not feasible. Submaximal walking tests are advantageous as they have less risk, lower cost, require less time and equipment, and walking is a familiar activity that is easy to do in most environments. A number of submaximal walking tests exist for both overground and treadmill walking. Regression equations to predict V̇o2max values based on walking time, distance, and other variables that influence exercise tolerance have been developed for some submaximal tests, including the Rockport Fitness Walking Test and the Single-Stage Treadmill Walk Test. The 6-Minute Walk Test is a common test used in clinical populations to predict prognosis and assess change in functional capacity after intervention. Determining which submaximal walking test to use depends on purpose and setting, subject characteristics, equipment availability, space, and time. This review will provide clinicians with an overview of submaximal walking test protocols and provide reference equations and minimal clinically important difference values to interpret results.

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