Journal of Athletic EnhancementISSN: 2324-9080

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Effects of Surgical Mask Use on Peak Torque, Total Work and Interest Fatigability during Isokinetic Strength Testing

The purpose was to investigate if relative to a condition with no mask does wearing a surgical mask during resistance exercise in healthy individuals warrant early exercise termination, limit peak torque or total work performed alter physiological or psychological response. Our methods consisted of a crossover design in which 20 participants completed isokinetic strength testing on 2 separate days, once with no mask and once with a surgical mask. For each leg 3 sets comprised of 5 repetitions set to 60° per second of an isokinetic, concentric knee extension and flexion, followed by 90 sec recovery. After completing 3 sets on initial leg, testing was set up for second leg. Physiological parameters (peak torque, total work, HR peak, oxygen saturation, psychological responses breathing discomfort and rate of perceived exertion) were investigated. The results revealed that the mean oxygen saturation was greater while wearing a surgical mask than with no mask 98.1 ± 0.60, 97.6 ± 0.94 respectively (p=0.038). Additionally, the breathing discomfort scores were higher while wearing a surgical mask, when compared to no mask 3.3 ± 2.41 and 2.0 ± 1.95, respectively (p=0.015). There were no additional differences (t0.202) found between conditions, with the level of significance set for the study (p<0.05). In conclusion wearing mask during resistance exercise increases breathing discomfort but does not otherwise negatively impact peak force, exercise capacity, perceived effort, nor physiologic measures of exertion.

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