Wearing Face Masks While Exercising Reduces Oxygen, Increases Heart Rate, Baylor Scott & White Study Says

That’s the result of a six-month study on the physiological effects of wearing a mask while working out during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Video Transcript

- Does wearing a mask while exercising impact your performance? Well a Baylor Scott and White health report found that it does. JD Miles looking at the results in a new study tonight to determine the impact that a mask may have on cognitive skills.

JD MILES: 31 people took part in Baylor Scott and White's research study that began last year. Their vital signs and other data compiled while running on treadmills with and without cloth face coverings.

- Ours was the first to look at actual cloth face masks that the general public would wear or that athletes would usually wear while exercising.

JD MILES: The study found less oxygen in the blood and an increased heart rate among those who wore masks. It resulted in reduced exercise capacity by 29%, and a 14% reduction in the time it took to reach exhaustion. The researchers say the study did not find exercising with a face mask was dangerous, only a limitation. Researchers say the data can be useful to anyone from high level athletes to average people with active lifestyles.

SIMON DRIVER: You know it's important as health care providers, as exercisers, as coaches and trainers that if you're working with an active individual who's wearing a mask, it will impact the physiologic performance.

JD MILES: Baylor is starting a brand new study to test the effects of wearing a face mask on cognitive skills while exercising. I had a chance to take part in the test today at the Star in Frisco. The study involves riding a stationary bike while being tested for cognitive awareness both with and without a face mask. All right, that was good.

ERIN REYNOLDS: So that's really going to add another layer to help us understand what the participants experience is while they're wearing a mask while exercising.

JD MILES: Baylor Scott and White hopes to have the results of its study on the cognitive impact of wearing a mask while exercising in a few months. In Frisco, JD Miles, CBS 11 News.

- Interesting take away.