The participants did the test three times, once with no mask, once with a surgical mask and once with the triple-layer cloth mask. The researchers said a single-layer mask may not offer the same results.
The study did not find evidence to support the idea that vigorous exercise with a mask could compromise oxygen uptake or increase rebreathing of carbon dioxide, which could lead to a condition in which carbon dioxide displaces oxygen in the blood.
“Our findings are of importance because they indicate that people can wear face masks during intense exercise with no detrimental effects on performance and minimal impact on blood and muscle oxygenation,” the researchers said.
Chilibeck recommended that people working out in a gym, ice rink or other recreational space wear masks to keep safe.
“It might also allow sports to continue, including hockey, where transmission of COVID-19 appears to be high,” he said in a university news release.
The study was published recently in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.
Read more from the World Health Organization about when and how to wear masks.
SOURCE: University of Saskatchewan, news release, Nov. 3, 2020