10 Meter Walking Test (10 MWT)

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Tool Description

  • Assesses short duration walking speed (m/s).
  • Has been used in various patient populations including stroke, Parkinson’s disease, general neurologic movement disorders and SCI.



Video: https://www.scireproject.com/outcome-measures/video

Detailed instructions can also be found in Tilson et al. 2010:  (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20022995)

ICF Domain:

Activity – subcategory: Mobility.

Number of Items:


Brief Instructions for Administration & Scoring


  • Clinician-administered; performance-based measure.
  • Measures the time required to walk 10 meters
  • Administration time is usually less than 5 minutes
  • Performed using a “flying start”: the patient walks 14 meters and the time is measured for the intermediate 10 meters.
  • The individual walks at their preferred walking speed. Individuals can use an assistive device and must wear shoes.
  • Can be administered in a clinical setting or in the community


  • 14m corridor
  • Stopwatch


  • The time (to the nearest second) is reported
  • Walking speed (m/s) can be calculated


MCID: not established for SCI
SEM: 0.05m/s (Lam et al. 2008)
MDC: 0.13 m/s (Lam et al. 2008)

  • Normative data not established for SCI population
  • Results of the 10 MWT have been reported in the literature for individuals with incomplete SCI (see the Interpretability section of the Study Details sheet).



Training Required:

Does not require advanced training.

Clinical Considerations

  • The 10 MWT only assesses walking speed and does not consider the amount of physical assistance required, devices or endurance.
  • The test is conducted in a controlled environment (i.e. lab or hospital setting), so results cannot be directly translated to the environment (i.e. crossing a busy street).  The 10 MWT also requires an individual to ambulate a minimum of 14 m.  There have been reports in the literature that the distance is not always standardized (i.e. 10 m versus 14 m).
  • It appears to be a useful measure in the SCI population for both research and clinical practice.  The scale properties (time in seconds or m/s) of the 10 MWT make it a responsive test well suited to evaluating clinical interventions.
  • Is suitable for individuals who can, at a minimum, ambulate in household settings (i.e. > 14 m).
  • Assessment is easy to set up and administer, and is well-tolerated by most patient groups.

Measurement Property Summary

# of studies reporting psychometric properties: 21


  • Intra-rater reliability is High (r=0.95-0.983)
  • Inter-rater reliability is High (r=0.974-0.99).

[Van Hedel, Dietz & Wirz 2005, Scivoletto et al. 2011]


  • Correlations of the 10MWT are High with:
    •  Walking Index for Spinal Cord Injury (WISCI) (r=0.77-0.85)
    • 6 Minute Walking Test (r=-0.86 - -0.91)
    • Berg Balance Scale (r=0.78-0.86)
    • Timed Up and Go (r=-0.646- 0.89)
    • SCIM-mobility subscale (r=0.89)
    • SCI-Functional Ambulation Inventory – mobility (Spearman ρ =0.756),
  • Correlation of the 10MWT (speed) is Low to High with WISCI II (Spearman ρ =0.68- 0.795).

[Van Hedel, Dietz & Wirz 2005, Scivoletto et al. 2011, Van Hedel et al. 2006, Ditunno et al. 2007, Wirz et al. 2010, Van Hedel et al. 2009, Datta et al. 2009, Lemay & Nadeau 2010]


  • The 10MWT differed between 1 month and 3 months (mean time taken to complete the test decreased from 13 to 8 seconds, P<.001) and between 3 months and 6 months (mean time taken to complete the test stayed at 8 seconds, P=.005) but not between 6 months and 12 months (mean time taken to complete the test stayed at 8 seconds, P=.91)

 [Van Hedel et al. 2006]

Floor/ceiling effect:

No values were reported for the presence of floor/ceiling effects in the 10MWT for the SCI population.


Dr. Janice Eng, John Zhu, Jeremy Mak, Kyle Diab

Date Last Updated:

Nov. 1, 2016

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Download Worksheet:

Worksheet Document




  • The time (to the nearest second) is reported
  • Walking speed (m/s) can be calculated

Equipment Needed

  • 14m corridor
  • Stopwatch


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Poncumhak P, Saengsuwan J, Amatachaya S. Ability of walking without a walking device in patients with spinal cord injury as determined using data from functional tests. J Spinal Cord Med, 2014;37(4):389–396.

Poncumhak P, Saengsuwan J, Kamruecha W, Amatachaya S. Reliability and validity of three functional tests in ambulatory patients with spinal cord injury. Spinal Cord, 2013;51:214–217.

Saensook W, Poncumhak P, Saengsuwan J, Mato L, Kamruecha W, Amatachaya S. Discriminative Ability of the Three Functional Tests in Independent Ambulatory Patients With Spinal Cord Injury Who Walked With and Without Ambulatory Assistive Devices. J Spinal Cord Med, 2014;37(2):212-217.

Scivoletto G, Tamburella F, Laurenza L, Foti C, Ditunno JF, Molinari M. Validity and reliability of the 10-m walk test and the 6-min walk test in spinal cord injury patients. Spinal Cord (2011) 49, 736–740.

Srisim K, Saengsuwan J, Amatachaya S. Functional assessments for predicting a risk of multiple falls in independent ambulatory patients with spinal cord injury. J Spinal Cord Med, 2015; 38(4): 439–445.

Tester NJ, Lorenz DJ, Suter SP, Buehner JJ, Falanga D, Watson E, Velozo CA, Behrman AL, Basso DM. Responsiveness of the Neuromuscular Recovery Scale During Outpatient Activity-Dependent Rehabilitation for Spinal Cord Injury. Neurorehabil Neural Repair. 2016;30(6):528-38.

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van Hedel HJA  Wirz M, Dietz V. Assessing walking ability in subjects with spinal cord injury: validity and reliability of 3 walking tests. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2005;86:190-196.

Wirz M, Muller R, Bastiaenen C. Falls in Persons With Spinal Cord Injury: Validity and Reliability of the Berg Balance Scale. Neurorehabil Neural Repair 2010 24: 70; DOI: 10.1177/1545968309341059