Document Type : Research Paper I Open Access I Released under CC BY-NC 4.0 license


1 Ph.D student in Exercise Physiology, University of Mazandaran, Babolsar, Iran.

2 Assistant Professor, Department of Exercise Physiology, Physical Education Faculty, Mazandaran University, Babolsar, Iran.

3 Department of Sports Physiology, Faculty of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, University, of Mazandaran, Babolsar, Iran.


Background and aim: Current study aim was to examine the effects of wearing surgical and N95 facemasks on response of the physiological and electrocardiography markers include; QRS complex, QT interval, ST depression and P amplitude during exhaustive maximal exercise in middle-aged women.
Methods; In a semi- experimental protocol, 36 healthy volunteers females (mean age and BMI of 30.3 ± 3.9 years and 22.47 ± 3.1 kg/m2, respectively) randomly allocated to three groups of 12 peoples consist to; Max-N95 mask, Max-Surgical mask, and Max-Nomask). Subjects in the aforesaid groups performed a maximal Bruce protocol, while wearing a surgical mask, an N95 mask and without a mask, respectively. Physiological and electrocardiography parameters and time to exhaustion were compared. Data was analyzed to one-way ANOVA at P≤ 0.05 level.
Result: Maximal exercising with N95 mask was associated with a significant decrease in QTc interval levels, as compared to Max-Surgical mask (P<0.05) and Max-Nomask (P<0.027) groups. Although, the intergroup differences increase in heart rate and QRS following Bruce protocol were not differ significantly, very nearly significant level (P value was 0.073 and 0.075, respectively).
Conclusion: In healthy subjects, supervised maximal physical activity, particularly with a surgical mask is feasible, safe, and associated with only minor changes in ECG and physiological parameters, specifically a mild decrease in QTc. Future studies should examine impact of physical activity with various intensities, while using any mask in aged persons and or suffering from chronic inflammatory diseases.


Main Subjects

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