A test that evaluates an individual's physiological response to exercise, the intensity of which is increased in stages. Functions such as heart rate and blood pressure are usually monitored during the test. An exercise stress test is used to evaluate a person's health and fitness status before commencing an exercise programme, but it is not very reliable. Most people who die a sudden death during exercise have negative test results, and most people who test ‘positive’ (i.e. appear to have cardiovascular problems according to the test results) do not actually have significant coronary artery disease. However, the test has great value as a means of quantifying fitness levels and for determining a true maximum heart rate for an exercise prescription.
Subjects: Sports and Exercise Medicine.