Impact of mask wearing during high-intensity exercise on post-exercise hemodynamics


  • Zachary Zeigler Grand Canyon University, United States
  • Payton Price Grand Canyon University, United States
  • Malia Nowlen Grand Canyon University, United States
  • Luke Heikka Grand Canyon University, United States
  • Ruthie Larson Grand Canyon University, United States
  • Sara Thomasson Grand Canyon University, United States
  • Anthony Acevedo Grand Canyon University, United States



Sport medicine, Health, Post-Exercise hypotension, COVID-19, N95, Face covering, Pandemic


Background: Few studies examining face mask wearing during high-intensity interval exercise (HIE) have measured blood pressure (BP) and cardiac output (Q) during exercise and none have examined these variables post-exercise. Methods: Participants were randomly assigned to complete four exercise and two control conditions while wearing different face masks. Participants followed a 4x4 protocol on a cycle ergometer. Participants exercised at 85% of VO2max for 4-min, followed by a 3-min rest, repeated four times. Measurements of Q, systemic vascular resistance (SVR), and BP were measured pre-exercise for 20-min, during exercise, and postexercise for 60-min. Linear mixed models were used to detect differences between conditions. Results: Ten young (20.3 ± 1.4 yr.) male (n = 5) and female (n = 5) participants with an average BMI of 28.1 ± 7.3 kg/m2 and VO2max of 37.0 ± 7.1 completed this. There were no group differences during exercise on outcomes of Q, SVR, HR, SBP, DBP, MAP, or RPE (all p > .05). During exercise, EXS-N95 had a lower SV than CON-E (p = .014) and EXS-CL (p = .006). All mask conditions had a higher post-exercise HR than CON-E (all p > .05). Only EXS-SUR differed in post-exercise brachial SBP compared to CON-E (3.1 ± 1.6 mmHg, p < .043). Of the exercise conditions, only EXS-N95 differed from CON-E with an increase of 2.0 ± .88 mmHg for brachial DBP (p = .022) and 2.1 ± .92 mmHg for central DBP (p = .022), SV (-11.8 ± 3.5 mL.min-1, p < .001), Q (-.52 ± .26 L.min-1, p = .045), and SVR (73.7 ± 29.8 Dyn.s/cm5, p = .014). Conclusion: The current study shows that in healthy populations, wearing a face covering of any type during HIE does not impactfully change the hemodynamic response during exercise or recovery period.


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Impact of mask wearing during high-intensity exercise on post-exercise hemodynamics



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How to Cite

Zeigler, Z., Price, P., Nowlen, M., Heikka, L., Larson, R., Thomasson, S., & Acevedo, A. (2023). Impact of mask wearing during high-intensity exercise on post-exercise hemodynamics. Journal of Human Sport and Exercise, 19(1), 37–52.



Sport Medicine, Nutrition & Health