‘Six Minute Walk’ to Test COVID Fitness

A Jammu-based doctor on Saturday explained ‘Six Minute Walk’ fitness test during the COVID pandemic. As a part of Doctors Speak, Head of Medicine at Government Medical College and Hospital, Dr Vijay Kundal has suggested taking the Six Minute Walk Test, a rudimentary exercise to judge if one needs medical help or not.

In the test, the person walks for six minutes, and if his oxygen saturation level falls, either by three percent or below 94, it is time to consult a doctor, he said and advised that such patients must lie in a prone position to restore oxygen saturation quickly. In prone-position, the patient is made to lie facing down, with arms bent comfortably at the elbow and positioned forward.

Dr Kundal said, ‘The age old adage ‘prevention is better than cure’ has the greatest relevance to Covid-19 infection as there is no better protection against it than to adopt Covid appropriate behaviour.’

The appropriate behaviour, he explained, includes wearing a mask, frequent hand sanitisation and keeping social distance and avoiding crowded places. The doctor reiterated the government’s instructions of going out only if necessary, self hygiene, wearing a mask and avoiding crowds.

He also requested the people to ‘teach social distance to others around’. Timely vaccination is another major defence against the virus, he added. So what if one is already infected, To this, the doctor said, ‘Still there is no need to panic as most of the Covid cases fall under the mild category who recover easily. Such people develop symptoms like cough and cold’. They should immediately isolate themselves and eat healthy food, he advised.

Elaborating further, Dr Kundal said that Covid patients without any comorbidity recover easily in most of the cases. ‘In any case’, he reminds, ‘if one’s oxygen saturation level falls below 94 percent, the patient, whether comorbid or not, should immediately consult a doctor’.

The Head of Department warned against self medication, use of anticoagulants and steroids without a doctor’s prescription and said the Steroids are ‘two edged swords’. ‘On one hand, they help Covid patients, and on the other they may weaken one’s immunity,’ to a large measure.