What is an Exercise test ?

An exercise test requires your child to either run on a treadmill or less frequently to pedal a bicycle whilst their ECG and BP are monitored. In some cases (in a MVO2 test) airflow is also measured. The test ends when the child is too tired to go on or when a problem is identified. An exercise test may be useful in evaluating chest pain, breathlessness, collapse, easy fatigability and heart rhythm problems.

Why is an Exercise test done?

It gives information about how the heart functions during exercise.

What happens during the test?

The child needs to wear ECG stickers and a blood pressure cuff on their arm. Teenage girls should ideally wear a sports bra.

How long does it take?

Usually up to 25 minutes.

Does it hurt?

  • No. The test is painless but some children dislike having the stickers taken off.
DR NAQVI’S TOP TIPS for having an Exercise test
  • Wear trainers for running.
  • Bring a bottle of water.
  • Ensure you are not hungry and have been to the toilet.
  • Aim to run for as long as you can up to 15 minutes or more. If you can’t manage that, don’t worry, just do your best.
  • Hold onto the bars at the side or the front of the treadmill.