Face masks and exercise: A crossover trial
What effect does wearing a face mask have on
healthy young adults during exercise?
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED TO TAKE PART IN A NEW RESEARCH PROJECT
What this study is about
The main aim of this study is to determine whether wearing face masks during exercise causes healthy young adults to have lower levels of oxygen in the bloodstream or feel more breathless, compared to exercise without a face covering.
We aim to recruit a minimum of 60 volunteers, aged between 18 and 35 years old. Participants must exercise regularly and have no pre-existing health conditions that would impact on their ability to exercise to be eligible to take part.
Each participant will be asked to exercise by either running, cycling or rowing for 15 minutes. They will complete this exercise four times, wearing no face covering then one of three different face masks; a cloth mask, a loose fitting surgical mask and a tight fitting respirator mask. In between each exercise, participants will take a 5 minute break. The exercise sessions will take place at a university sports centre or park, local to the participant.
A member of the study team will measure each participants oxygen levels and heart rate before, during and after exercise using a fingertip monitor. Participants will also complete an online questionnaire to determine whether they developed any new symptoms or felt exercise was affected by the face covering. The whole study session will last 90 minutes. Sessions will be supervised by a member of the study team and may be run in small groups, in accordance with any restrictions on group gatherings in place at the time.
This research is important in assessing the role of face coverings in reducing the risk of transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19. As governments adapt their rules on social distancing and business closure, it is important to provide accurate advice to the public as to whether it is safe to wear face coverings during exercise. If face coverings do not interfere with exercise, people can be safely encouraged to wear them. Conversely, if face masks lower oxygen levels, this information needs to be conveyed to the public and may impact on re-opening of fitness gyms and indoor distancing rules.
"Thank you for thinking about joining the study - follow this link to express your interest in taking part and complete the online consent form."
Professor Trish Greenhalgh, University of Oxford
Do you want to take part?
We are seeking healthy young adults as volunteers to take part in this study.
To be eligible to take part you must be:
- Aged between 18 and 35 years.
- Exercise at least three times a week on a regular basis.
- Willing and able to give informed consent for participation in the study.
You will not be able to take part if you are:
- Known to have a significant acute or longstanding medical illness that limits your ability to exercise
- OR, develop symptoms of anosmia, cough or fever between agreeing to participate and completing the exercise, suggesting they may have developed COVID-19.
If you would like to part and think this is you, please read the patient information page and then follow the link below to register your interest.
- Study sessions will be run at a local sports centre or park.
- You'll be asked to complete one 90 minute exercise session, record your exercise data and upload the results online.
- The results can help us determine how safe face masks are during exercise; information that is important for informing public health policy around COVID-19.
This study is led by Professor Trisha Greenhalgh, Professor in Primary Care, University of Oxford.
Prof Greenhalgh's research is supported by Oxford National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Centre (grant no BRC-1215-20008) and by the UKRI COVID-19 Emergency Fund.
The study team includes clinical researchers from the University of Oxford, supported by medical students at King's College London and the University of Nottingham
The study is sponsored by the University of Oxford and has received ethical approval through the internal University ethics review system.
If you have any questions about taking part, please email Dr Nicholas Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org