Treadmill Stress Test

Explanation of the Test

This test is done to observe the heart's response to increased activity in a controlled environment. Ten small pads (electrodes) will be placed on the chest to monitor the heart (chest hair will be shaved if necessary). You will then walk on a moving belt at a brisk pace for about 3 to 12 minutes while being supervised by trained personnel. Every three minutes, the treadmill will increase in speed and the incline will get steeper and put more demand on your heart, causing it to beat faster. You will not be forced to do more activity than you safely can, although you may feel tired. Your electrocardiogram (ECG) and blood pressure will be measured throughout the test. After cooling down, which takes about 5 to 10 minutes, the ECG connections will be removed. After the test is over, you may eat and return to your daily routine.


  • Abstain from a heavy meal four hours prior to the test. A light meal of juice and toast is allowed.
  • Comfortable walking shoes are necessary (no high heels). Wear a two-piece outfit as you will be asked to undress from the waist up and given a short hospital gown to wear.
  • Do not smoke or have caffeine for three hours prior to the test.
  • Bring a list of your current medications.
  • You should ask your doctor whether you should take your regular medications prior to the test.

General Information

  • The test takes about one hour.

  • You should ask your doctor whether you should take your regular medications prior to the test.
  • Any further questions about the test may be answered by your physician.
  • The results will be sent to your doctor within 24 hours from when the test is performed.
  • If you are unable to keep your appointment or will be late, please call the Heart Station at 773-665-3187 as far in advance as possible.
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