An electrocardiogram, abbreviated as an EKG or an ECG, is a non-invasive method of viewing data pertaining to the heart's electrical activity. It involves having small electrodes placed on the legs, chest and arms. Unlike some other medical procedures, there no required "preparation." For example, some people who get an EEG, an electroencephalogram are asked to go without sleep (sleep-deprived EEG); no such methods are required for an ECG. This test can only be ordered by a doctor; you can't get one for fun. It's only asked that oils, powders, etc are not placed on the chest.

ECG's are commonly performed in situations where there is suspected heart trouble, like a heart murmur, decreased oxygen to the heart, or with patients who have had cardiac episodes and histories of heart problems, like arrythmia and cardiac arrest.