An exercise electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) is an outpatient test that checks for changes in your heart while you exercise. Your physician may order this test for you to any abnormalities that can be seen in the EKG only during exercise or while symptoms are present. This test is sometimes called a “stress test” or a “treadmill test.” During an exercise EKG, you may either walk on a motor-driven treadmill or pedal a stationary bicycle. The heart’s electrical activity is translated into line tracings on paper.

A resting EKG is always done before an exercise EKG test, and results of the resting EKG are compared. A resting EKG may also show a heart problem that would make an exercise EKG unsafe.