Face Masks Don’t Impede Breathing During Exercise, But Your Mind May Think They Will

Wearing a face mask during a workout probably won’t be the most comfortable experience in the world.  Luckily, that mask won’t be detrimental to your breathing.  That’s the conclusion of a new study by the University of California, San Diego looking at how face masks impact oxygen inhalation and carbon dioxide exhalation during exercise.  Many opposed to the use of face masks during this pandemic claim that coverings impair the cardiopulmonary system, making it harder to breathe. Opponents of face masks add they increase dyspnea, a shortness of breath especially during exercise. According to these latest findings, while wearing a mask during a workout may lead to an increase in perceived dyspnea, there is very little scientific evidence indicating masks significantly harm lung function.  “There might be a perceived greater effort with activity, but the effects of wearing a mask on the work of breathing, on gases like oxygen and CO2 in blood or other physiological parameters are small, often too small to be detected,” says study first author and professor of medicine and radiology Susan Hopkins in a university release.  “There’s also no evidence to support any differences by sex or age in physiological responses to exercise while wearing a facemask.”

Photo Credit: CNN via YouTube screenshot


Posted in COVID19, News
Scott Fox and Kat Callaghan