Is it Safe to Wear Face Masks While Exercising? The WHO Responds

Debate on the ill effects of wearing face masks has created a lot of confusion among people in the wake of the novel Coronavirus.

Due to the uncontrollable spread of the novel Coronavirus, wearing face masks has already become the new normal for people all over the world. Many countries have even made it mandatory in public places.

Face masks
Is it safe to wear face masks when exercising? The WHO responds Pixabay

But is it Safe to Wear Face Masks When Exercising?

Ever since wearing face masks was made compulsory in many parts of the world, it seems people are really concerned about its ill effects. Recently, reports had it that two teenage boys died in China during the physical education examination as they wear wearing face masks. Similarly, a 26-year-old was also hospitalized in China's Wuhan city as he complained of chest pain after jogging with a face mask on.

Now, the World Health Organization (WHO) has come forward asking people not to wear face masks when exercising as it can reduce their ability to breathe comfortably. It is also said that the sweat formed while working out can make the mask wet quickly, making it difficult to breathe, especially when running or jogging. Wet masks can also promote the growth of microorganisms on them.

Therefore, the most suggested preventive measure to protect one from contracting the virus infection while exercising is to maintain social distancing from others.

WHO on using face masks while exercising
According to the WHO, people should not wear face masks when exercising. WHO

Wearing Masks for Prolonged Hours

Meanwhile, many have been expressing their concerns regarding the safety of wearing face protective gear for a prolonged period, especially health workers. Apart from the discomfort, many are of the opinion that it can cause serious side effects from headaches, increased airway resistance, carbon dioxide accumulation to hypoxia, to name a few. Similarly, many fake messages suggesting that it can cause multiple respiratory problems have also been doing the rounds on social media.

The WHO has, however, confirmed that wearing masks for long hours does not lead to carbon dioxide intoxication nor oxygen deficiency. They have also advised people to wear medical masks properly and not to re-use disposable masks once it gets damp.

However, it has to be noted that one cannot stop the spread of Coronavirus just by using face masks. It can be effective only with frequent handwashing with soap and water or the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers.

Coronavirus Across the Globe

As of Wednesday, 8,264,468 people have been infected by the deadly COVID-19 all over the world out of which 4,321,998 have already recovered while it has killed 446,135 individuals. At the time of reporting, there are as many as 3,496,335 active cases globally with the US recording the highest number of cases, followed by Brazil, Russia and India.

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