Treadmill ECG test

What is a Treadmill ECG test?

A Treadmill ECG test is when you walk on a treadmill, while your heart is being monitored.  It is also called an exercise ECG (or EKG).  This test enables your cardiologist to see changes in how your heart works while you exercise.  This test is also known as a “stress test” or a “treadmill test.”

Why am I having a Treadmill ECG test?

Your GP has referred you for this test because some ECG abnormalities can only be seen during exercise, or while you are having symptoms.

Will I feel anything during the Treadmill ECG test?

The nurse may need to shave some small patches on your shoulders or chest. It can sometimes be slightly uncomfortable when the ECG stickers are removed afterwards. The nurse will also check your blood pressure.

During the test, you may feel quite breathless as the test increases in intensity throughout its duration. If you are uncomfortable, tired, or getting chest pains (angina), let the nurse know, and the test will be stopped immediately.

A Treadmill ECG test is a non-invasive test.

How long will the Treadmill ECG test take?

It will take up to 20 minutes, including the initial resting ECG.

How do I prepare for the Treadmill ECG test?

As you will be walking on a treadmill for up to 15 minutes, it is advisable to wear comfortable shoes, and exercise clothing if this is convenient. It is helpful if you do not use body lotion/oil before your treadmill ECG.

We have a supply of patient gowns, which are also suitable to wear during your Treadmill ECG test.

Can I have a support person with me during the Treadmill ECG test?


What if the treadmill is going too fast for me?

The treadmill starts off very slowly.  The nurse will be standing with you the entire time, so if you feel that it is going too quickly for you, the nurse will stop the treadmill.

What if I get angina/chest pains during the Treadmill test?

If you experience angina, or any discomfort during the Treadmill test, let your nurse know immediately and the test will be stopped.

Additionally, if the nurse notices any ECG changes during your Treadmill test, the test will be stopped and the Cardiologist will be alerted immediately.

My GP wants me to have a Treadmill ECG test, but I’m have sore knees/hips and cannot walk very well.

In this case, it is likely that the Cardiologist would perform a different type of Exercise Stress ECG, which will still provide useful information without the need for you to walk on a treadmill.

Who will be performing the Treadmill ECG test?

A Cardiology Nurse will perform the Treadmill ECG test, and the Cardiologist will review it and discuss it with you.

How long before I get the results of the Treadmill ECG test?

The Cardiologist will discuss these results with you during your appointment.

What happens if my Treadmill ECG test shows that something is wrong with my heart?

The Cardiologist will discuss this with you at the time of your appointment. If the tests show something, the different treatment options will be explained to you, and the Cardiologist will send a summary letter to your GP.

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Ascot Hospital, Level 3
90 Greenlane East
Remuera, Auckland 1051
PO Box 17264,
Greenlane, Auckland 1546

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