Joggers and cyclists should wear masks – here's why - The Conversation UK
Jan 18, 2021 1 min, 28 secs
Perhaps the UK should follow France and require people who are jogging or cycling to wear masks if they are unable to maintain a physical distance from pedestrians.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is adamant that: “People should NOT wear masks when exercising, as masks may reduce the ability to breathe comfortably”; and “Sweat can make the mask become wet more quickly which makes it difficult to breathe and promotes the growth of microorganisms.” The WHO recommendation is to maintain at least one-metre physical distance from others.

Over half of all cases of COVID are acquired from people who have no symptoms at the time they pass it on.

One-metre or two-metre distancing rules (which are derived as much from economic models of lost productivity as from scientific evidence of protection) do not mean that if people keep within these distances, they are safe.

The rules mean only that people farther apart are less likely to infect one another.

Pedestrians passed by a relatively young and fit jogger or cyclist include people who are elderly or otherwise more vulnerable to COVID and its complications.

Contrary to some information sources, there is no evidence that casual jogging in a mask (as opposed to vigorous exercise undertaken in a tight-fitting respirator with the specific goal of pushing one’s physiology to extremes) leads to significant metabolic harm.

The WHO is correct that masks may reduce the ability to breathe comfortably, though masks made of materials (such as multi-layer muslin or a muslin-flannel combination) that have low resistance but high filtration capacity will reduce this problem.

My own team is about to undertake a more pragmatic randomised controlled trial of the impact of different kinds of masks on exercise capacity, comfort and physiological markers in people taking outdoor exercise.


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