The repeatability of gait speed and physiological cost index measurements in working adults

Rishi Raj, Hoda Mojazi Amiri, Helen Wang, Kenneth M. Nugent

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objectives: To determine the performance characteristics of gait speed measurements and the physiological cost index (PCI; heart rate change/gait speed) in working adults. Methods: Gait speeds, heart rate changes, andnon-steady state PCIs were calculated in 61 volunteers who worked in our health sciences center. These subjects completed 9 separate 100-foot walk tests in 3 separate sessions. Results: The mean heart rate change after a 100-foot walk was 16.6 ± 8.1 beats per minute. The mean gait speed was 76.1 ± 9.6 meters per minute, and the mean PCI was 0.22 ± 0.11 beats per meter. There were highly significant correlations among all measurements on the 9 separate tests (correlation coefficients 0.41-0.95); gait speed measurements had the highest correlations (0.91-0.95). In a multivariable model hypertension and arthritis were associated with reduced gait speeds. Conclusion: Gait speed, heart rate changes, and non-steady state PCIs have good repeatability when measured over short walks. This information provides a rapid physiological assessment and a method for measuring changes in functional status in healthy subjects and most patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)128-133
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Primary Care and Community Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2014


  • Functional capacity
  • Gait speed
  • Heart rate
  • Physiologic cost index

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Community and Home Care
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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