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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2021 Nov 25

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.21.12880-4

Copyright © 2021 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

The effects of face masks on cardiopulmonary capacity in healthy young individuals

Erhan KIZMAZ 1 , Fatma UNVER 2,Orçin TELLI ATALAY 1

1 Department of General Rehabilitation, School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation, Pamukkale University, Denizli, Turkey; 2 Department of Orthopedic Rehabilitation, School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation, Pamukkale University, Denizli, Turkey


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BACKGROUND: Due to the SARS-CoV2 pandemic that affected the world in a short time, face masks were recommended by all authorities and started to be used widely. Few study has been reported the effects of face masks on cardiopulmonary capacity. In this critical period, there is a need to contribute to the literature to clarify the effects of face masks. The aim of the study was to examine the effect of face masks on cardiopulmonary capacity.
METHODS: In this prospective cross-over study, the effect of wearing nomask (nm), surgical mask (cm) and FFP2 / N95 (ffpm) mask was examined in 16 healthy individuals (age: 23.12 ± 1.4, BMI: 22.91 ± 12.8, 8 women). 48 tests were performed randomly with the standard cycle ergometer. Time to exhaustion, maximum power, heart rate, dyspnea, respiratory frequancy and, oxygen saturation were evaluated. Ten domains of the comfort / discomfort levels of wearing mask were evaluated by questionnaire.
RESULTS: Time to exhaustion were 383 ± 118, 348.25 ± 106 and 338.62 ± 97 seconds (nm, cm and ffpm, respectively; p < 0.001). The maximum power was 125 ± 31.62 Watt in all measurements. There was no significant differences in physiological parameters except dyspnea (p = 0.004). A significant difference was found between the masks in terms of tightness and breathing resistance in terms of mask comfort / discomfort (p = 0.001, p = 0.02, respectively).
CONCLUSIONS: Cardiopulmonary exercise capacity was reduced in healthy young individuals due to surgical mask and ffpm/N95. In addition to this effect, breathing resistance and tightness should be considered in face masks recommendations during exercise.


KEY WORDS: Covid19; Cardiopulmoary; Exercise capacity; Face masks

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