A mailed questionnaire was sent to 2,892 men aged 35-65 years who had undergone symptom-limited treadmill exercise testing. The study was designed to assess the possible role of exercise testing as a means of motivating patients to modify appropriate risk factors and health habits. There was a 69% response to the questionnaire and 63% of patients replying indicated they modified one or more risk factors and health habits and this change they attributed to the exercise test. It was found that persons with an abnormal functional aerobic impairment, demonstrated by the exercise test, were more likely to be motivated to change. This pilot study raises the possibility that exercise testing may play an important role in modification of coronary risk factors and health habits and the design of a better controlled study is suggested.