Mini Review
Volume 11 Issue 11 - 2020
Exercise with a Facial Mask. Questions and Answers from Sports and Exercise Medicine Perspective
David Betancur1,4, Jesus Miranda1,3,4, Carmen Gonzalez1 and Orlando Angulo1,2,5*
1Physical and Sports Medicine Specialist, Colombia
2Renacera IPS, Clinical and Experimental Medicine Research Physician in Chief, Colombia
3Triathlon with Science CEO and SEM Physician, Colombia
4Assistant Professor Applied Physical Activity and Sports Medicine Residency Program at Universidad de Antioquia, Colombia
5Ad Honorem Professor at Fundacion Universitaria de Ciencias de la Salud (FUCS), Colombia
*Corresponding Author: Orlando Angulo, Ad Honorem Professor at Fundacion Universitaria de Ciencias de la Salud (FUCS), Colombia.
Received: September 26, 2020; Published: October 30, 2020


The use of a face mask to reduce the risk of transmission of infectious diseases has been widely recommended. This simple practice contains diseases that become global threats like the current COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, exercising regularly is one of the most important preventive measures to combat physical inactivity and improve the immune system and although there are alternatives at home, many people can only practice it outdoors and may require a mask.

For this reason, it is important to know the physiological effects of face masks on the human body during physical exercise.

In this mini review we want in an academic way and supported by the best available evidence, to answer some concerns generated around this topic.

Keywords: Facial mask; Exercise; Hypoxia; Carbon Dioxide; COVID-19


  1. Eikenberry SE., et al. "To Mask or Not to Mask: Modeling the Potential for Face Mask Use by the General Public to Curtail the Covid-19 Pandemic”. Infectious Disease Modelling 5 (2020): 293-308.
  2. Kampf G., et al. "Persistence of Coronaviruses on Inanimate Surfaces and Their Inactivation with Biocidal Agents”. The Journal of Hospital Infection3 (2020): 246-251.
  3. Davies A., et al. "Testing the Efficacy of Homemade Masks: Would They Protect in an Influenza Pandemic?" Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness4 (2013): 413-418.
  4. Konda A., et al. "Aerosol Filtration Efficiency of Common Fabrics Used in Respiratory Cloth Masks”. ACS Nano5 (2020): 6339-6347.
  5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Acerca De Las Mascarilla-Cubiertas De Tela Para La Cara” (2020).
  6. Kim JH., et al. "Pulmonary and Heart Rate Responses to Wearing N95 Filtering Facepiece Respirators”. American Journal of Infection Control1 (2013): 24-27.
  7. Beder A., et al. "Preliminary Report on Surgical Mask Induced Deoxygenation During Major Surgery”. Neurocirugia 2 (2008): 121-126.
  8. Roberge RJ., et al. "Physiological Impact of the N95 Filtering Facepiece Respirator on Healthcare Workers”. Respiratory Care5 (2010): 569-577.
  9. Li Y., et al. "Effects of Wearing N95 and Surgical Facemasks on Heart Rate, Thermal Stress and Subjective Sensations”. International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health6 (2005): 501-509.
  10. Davis BA and LC Tsen. "Wearing an N95 Respiratory Mask: An Unintended Exercise Benefit?" Anesthesiology3 (2020): 684-686.
  11. Chandrasekaran B and S Fernandes. "Exercise with Facemask; Are We Handling a Devil's Sword?" - a Physiological Hypothesis”. Medical Hypotheses 144 (2020): 110002.
  12. Chen Yumiao., et al. "Physiological and Subjective Responses to Breathing Resistance of N95 Filtering Facepiece Respirators in Still-Sitting and Walking”. International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics 53 (2016): 93-101.
  13. Roberge RJ., et al. "N95 Filtering Facepiece Respirator Deadspace Temperature and Humidity”. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene3 (2012): 166-171.
  14. Roberge RJ. "Are Exhalation Valves on N95 Filtering Facepiece Respirators Beneficial at Low-Moderate Work Rates: An Overview”. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene 11 (2012): 617-623.
  15. Goh DYT., et al. "A Randomised Clinical Trial to Evaluate the Safety, Fit, Comfort of a Novel N95 Mask in Children”. Scientific Reports1 (2019): 18952.
  16. Kim JH., et al. "Effect of External Airflow Resistive Load on Postural and Exercise-Associated Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Responses in Pregnancy: A Case Control Study”. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth 15 (2015): 45.
  17. Roberge RJ., et al. "N95 Respirator Use During Advanced Pregnancy”. American Journal of Infection Control10 (2014): 1097-100.
  18. Tong PS., et al. "Respiratory Consequences of N95-Type Mask Usage in Pregnant Healthcare Workers-a Controlled Clinical Study”. Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control 4 (2015): 48.
Citation: Orlando Angulo., et al. “Exercise with a Facial Mask. Questions and Answers from Sports and Exercise Medicine Perspective”. EC Orthopaedics 11.11 (2020): 29-35.

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