The most common kind of cardiac stress testing uses a treadmill to help determine how well your heart performs. You’ll walk on a treadmill with sticky pads, called electrodes, connecting your chest, arms, and shoulders to an electrocardiograph (EKG) monitor, which measures your heart’s electrical activity. The treadmill will be tilted slightly so you feel like you’re walking uphill, and the speed may be increased to make your heart beat faster.
Your appointment will usually last about an hour, though you’ll only be exercising for up to 15 minutes. If you are unable to exercise on a treadmill, there are several non-treadmill types of stress tests available. Ask your doctor to recommend the type most appropriate for you.