When we exercise, it has an effect on our breathing. When we are physically active, we need to breathe more.

To check your breathing, the tester will ask you to do some exercise and take measurements while you’re exercising, and afterwards.

This might involve:

  • Walking at your own pace for six minutes, taking as many rests as you need.
  • Doing a test called a ‘shuttle walking test’. This involves walking between two points set 10 metres (about 30 feet) apart. This is timed with the times gradually get faster, until you can’t keep up.
  • Walking on a treadmill, while the tester monitors your heart and lungs.
  • Doing a test on an exercise bike. This is done occasionally if the doctors need more detailed information about your breathing. Usually you will be asked to breathe through a mouthpiece while you cycle. The amount of oxygen you breathe in and the carbon dioxide you breathe out are measured, as well as your breathing rate, pulse and sometimes your blood gases