Study Suggests Wearing a Face Mask During Intense Exercise I
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Wearing a protective face mask has only a modest effect on the ability of healthy people to do vigorous exercise, according to a study. Researchers carried out detailed testing on breathing, heart activity, and exercise performance in a group of 12 people while they were using an exercise bike with and without a mask.

Although they found differences in some measurements between wearing a mask and not wearing a mask, they say that none of their results indicate any risk to health. This suggests that masks could be worn safely during intense exercise, for example to reduce COVID-19 transmission between people visiting an indoor gym.

Researchers worked with a group of healthy volunteers made up of six women and six men with an average age of 40. Each person took part in three rounds of exercise tests: once while not wearing a face mask, once wearing a surgical mask and once wearing a 'filtering face piece 2' or FFP2 mask. While the volunteers used an exercise bike, the researchers measured their breathing, heart rate, blood pressure and the levels of oxygen in their blood.

Results of the tests showed that wearing a face mask had a small effect on the volunteers. The results also indicate that this reduction was probably caused by it being slightly harder for the volunteers to breathe in and out through the masks.

The researcher said: "This reduction is modest and, crucially, it does not suggest a risk to healthy people doing exercise in a face mask, even when they are working to their highest capacity. "However, we should not assume that the same is true for people with a heart or lung condition. We need to do more research to investigate this question."

Source:
https://erj.ersjournals.com/content/early/2021/02/04/13993003.04473-2020
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