[Skip to content]

  • High Contrast
  • High Contrast
  • Normal Contrast
George Eliot Hospital - NHS Trust
Search our Site
Advanced Search How To Find Us

Exercise Tolerance Test

Parent specialty: Cardio Respiratory Unit (CRU)

This is a simple non-invasive test which is used to assess the coronary arteries by looking at changes on the ECG as the heart rate rises. To cause the heart rate to rise, the patient will be asked to walk on a treadmill. This test is usually requested for patients who have experienced chest pain or shortness of breath on exercise.

Before the test
Before attending for the exercise test please:

  • Do not eat a heavy meal for 2 hours

  • Do not take alcohol for 4 hours

  • Wear comfortable shoes

  • Do not wear long skirts as they can get caught in the treadmill belt

  • Do not use any body lotions

  • Take all medication as normal unless informed otherwise by your consultant


Finding the department
From the main entrance walk by the teabar and shop and then take a right at the crossroads just before you reach the XRay and pathology departments there is a lift or a set of stairs, go up to the first floor, we are on the right if you use the lift and left if you use the stairs.

The procedure
The patient will be asked to strip to the waist (ladies are able to keep their bras on). Electrodes are placed across the chest to record an ECG and a blood pressure cuff placed around the upper arm. Readings are taken at rest, during the walk and during recovery.

The walk starts off very easy as a gentle stroll (less than 2 miles an hour), it gradually becomes more difficult until you wish to stop.

This test has been done by patients as old as 89 and even by a patient with an artificial leg. We do not expect an athletic performance simply that you try your best.

Please allow 40 minutes for the test.

The results will be sent to the patient’s consultant who will check them and decide how to proceed. They will also decide whether further tests are necessary, if an appointment is needed or if a letter will suffice.

Please note that patients may not be given the results on the day of their test.

Useful links