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Home / Fitness and Health / Doctor runs 22 miles with face mask to debunk oxygen level myth

Doctor runs 22 miles with face mask to debunk oxygen level myth



There’s no shortage of excuses people make for not wearing a face mask during the coronavirus pandemic: face masks are awkward, uncomfortable, and difficult to breathe. Many people have even subscribed to the myth that masks actually lower oxygen levels while exercising. But Tom Lawton, an intensive care doctor from the UK, recently disproved that theory by testing it himself – almost running a marathon in the process.

“I work in the intensive care unit, I knew about physiology and I knew this wasn’t true,” he told CTV News. His goal: to run 35 km (approximately 21

.74 miles) around his hometown of Bradford, UK while wearing a face mask and tracking his oxygen levels. “I thought, how can I demonstrate that? How can I reassure people who want to do their part and wear a mask but are afraid? “Lawton told CTV News.

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Lawton monitored his oxygen levels with a pulse oximeter throughout his run to track actual data on how the mask was affecting his breathing. During his run, he checked his oxygen level every half hour and found that any reading above 95 percent was considered “normal”. “The [reading was] 98 to 99, normal oxygen levels, ”he says. Translation: He had no breathing problems during his entire run.

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“It’s certainly uncomfortable and I feel for people who don’t like to wear them, but this is one of the things that will help us,” he said. Looking for a super breathable face mask? Here are 20 options for fixed face masks for running and outdoor workouts. And if safety is your top concern, read this recommendation from a pulmonologist about the best mask you can buy to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.

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