This test requires you to exercise on a treadmill while your heart rhythm is continuously monitored with an electrocardiogram (ECG). This test will take approximately 30-45 minutes to one hour (including getting you hooked up, explaining the test and monitoring you after exercise).


  • Do not have anything to eat or drink for four hours before the study. Regularly scheduled medicines generally should be taken (including within the three hours prior to the study with a sip of water) unless you are specifically told not to by your doctor. Diabetics should discuss with their doctor about their diabetic medications, insulin and eating prior to the test.
  • Wear or bring comfortable clothing and rubber-soled shoes.
  • You will be asked to sign a consent form. Exercise Stress Testing involves exercising on a treadmill while you are closely monitored with an electrocardiogram (ECG). The exercise difficulty (both speed and incline or elevation) increases during the test usually every three minutes.

The test is used to:

  • determine how well your heart tolerates activity and your level of fitness
  • evaluate the function of your heart and valves
  • determine your likelihood of having coronary artery disease (blocked arteries); and
  • evaluate the effectiveness of your cardiac treatment plan.

When felt appropriate by your physician or cardiologist, imaging of the heart can be combined with the ECG monitoring to gain additional information (see Exercise Stress Echo and Myocardial Perfusion Imaging). For patients who cannot walk on a treadmill, we can arrange for non-exercise (pharmacological stress test) protocols. Please have nothing to eat or drink four hours prior to your test. Please take your usual medications unless instructed by your physician.

***NOTE: Do not discontinue any medication without first talking with your physician.

What should I wear the day of the test?

Wear comfortable clothes such as you would exercise or go to the gym with. Bring shoes suitable for walking. Do not bring valuables.