Many people think that face masks cause trouble in breathing while running or doing a strenuous workout. Meanwhile, a new study shows that using a face mask while working out does not cause any issues in breathing for normal healthy individuals.
A team of researchers from the University of Saskatchewan conducted this study using an ergometry test during cycling. The researchers measured the level of oxygen in the muscles and blood of the participants. This study included seven men and women who wore different masks to test their breathing during the workout.
The findings of this study were published recently in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.
Previously, the World Health Organization advised the general public to avoid wearing a face mask during a workout. Several other health experts also suggested the same but the results from this study contradict this advice.
According to the guidelines by the WHO, face masks can reduce the breathing ability during exercise. In Canada, health officials have multiple suggestions for wearing a mask during exercise. Health officials from Ottawa recommend wearing a mask during such exercises that do not disrupt breathing or heart rate.
Even though many experts suggest removing your mask during workout, several gyms have made face masks mandatory inside the gym. Meanwhile, other gyms do not have this rule have this rule. Research also shows that the novel coronavirus spreads more rapidly in a closed space such as indoor gyms.
The senior author of this study, Phil Chilibeck said that most people think that using a face mask while working causes obstruction in breathing. However, this study shows that it is completely safe and does not have any effect on breathing.
The study included an aerobic exercise test in which the participants cycled with masks. Researchers provided conditions to the participants in which they exerted their maximum effort to complete the exercise. Meanwhile, they tested how well the participants felt during the workout. They also determined their comfort level during the exercise which showed the effect of face mask on their breathing pattern.
The researchers used three-ply masks used for surgery in this test. These masks consist of three layers of fabric and this is the new standard to effectively prefent coronavirus infection. This kind of face masks are easily avaialble in the market or a local pharmacy and most people use this type of mask in public.
Another study with more participants was conducted in Texas. One of the participants from that study mentioned that the mask did not hinder breathing in short term but it felt like it effected the long term performance during the exercise. Some participants also say that the oxygen level remains the same during workout with a face masks but the exercise feels harder than normal.
Many people avoid working out or going to their gym because they have to wear a face mask during exercise. This research shows that the face masks do not effect the efficiency of the individual during workout of cause breathing issues.