Researchers warn: Sport with a face mask reduces physical performance!

Wearing the face mask outdoors to protect against Covid-19 is a mere recommendation in some regions, while it is a mandatory measure in others. In a study, however, researchers found that cloth mouth and nose protection reduced physical performance during exercise. Specifically, joggers who carried out their sport with a face mask complained more and more of shortness of breath and a claustrophobic sensation. This increased as they increased the exercise intensity.

Sport with a face mask reduces the performance of the body

This finding is controversial. Scientists had previously recommended wearing a protective mask. This would protect against infection with the corona virus while jogging. There could be a “hazard” to pedestrians if a “puffing, panting” jogger runs past them, said Trish Greenhalgh, professor of primary health care at Oxford University, who goes on to add, “The exercising jogger – the puffing and panting jogger – you feel your breath coming, and sometimes you even feel your breath come in. So there is no doubt that there is a danger there ”. Nevertheless, sport with a face mask is restrictive, as the study results show.

The study of mouthguards for sports

The intensity of jogging with a mask should be reduced

While previous research on sports with face masks only looked at the effects of surgical face masks, this focused on cloth masks. The results are based on the training performance of 31 healthy adults between the ages of 18 and 29 who ran on a treadmill to exhaustion – one with a fabric cover and one without. A total of 30 of the participants agreed that the respiratory protection reduced the maximum performance. Some even said that they felt “claustrophobic,” “choked,” and “fearful” from being unable to “breathe deeply”.

Experts recommend reducing the intensity and frequency

Exercise with a face mask leads to shortness of breath and claustrophobia

However, the researchers said the results on athletic mouthguards “do not fully explain how wearing masks could directly impair cardiovascular function”. They therefore came to the conclusion that “discomfort associated with wearing masks” led to a reduction in performance. For this reason, they recommend changing and adapting training variables such as frequency, intensity and type of wearing face covering accordingly. In this way, the possible effects of the respirator for sports can be kept within limits.

Experts recommend reducing jogging with a respirator

The results of the clinical trial were published online in the British Journal of Sports Medicine (BJSM).