There is a common belief that people don’t get as much oxygen in their bodies when they exercise with face masks on as they do without face masks. Researchers measured the lung function of people working out to answer this question.
The study showed wearing a face mask helps to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Regulations and restrictions may require people to use masks in public spaces, including when doing exercise. People report feeling uncomfortable and unable to breathe correctly when they exercise with face masks, leading them to remove their masks or wear them incorrectly while exercising. Researchers examined the lung function and oxygen and CO2 flow of people who exercise while wearing a mask. They found that the warm air and a slightly enriched CO2 air gives people the sensation that they aren’t getting enough oxygen, but the study shows that face masks do not impact lung function.