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The Spanish Society of Sports Medicine recommends using the mask in sports practice

They urge you to train with a mask and if you cannot take the proposed prevention measures, do not train.

La Spanish Society of Sports Medicine and General Council of Official Medical Associations, through the Advisory Group on iSARS-CoV2 infection, has issued a statement on the need to use the mask in sports practice as an indispensable means of controlling the spread of infection

In the statement, they argue about the supposed side effects of using the mask in sports, such as that it is harmful to health and reduces sports performance.

Is it harmful to health?

As they comment there is no evidence that the use of the surgical mask have harmful effects to health.

In addition, there is evidence of prolonged and repeated use by healthcare personnel who have used them for decades during their working hours, such as in operating rooms and other healthcare settings.

Thus it is advisable to use a new mask in each training session or competition and change the mask in case it gets wet or dirty.

Does it reduce athletic performance?

Regarding the decrease in performance due to the use of masks in sports practice, the scientific information available is scarce due to the recent appearance of the disease and the difficulty of conducting studies in many areas of knowledge of the pandemic.

However, in the statement they speak of a recent study (Fikenzer S. et al) that studies the effects of the use of surgical masks and FFP2 in the maximum effort in healthy adults compared to those that occur without the use of masks.

It was found that, while the use of FFP2 masks notably decreased practically all the parameters studied, the use of surgical masks did not affect more than some comfort parameters (heat, resistance to breathing, itching, pressure, uneasiness).

Recommendations:

  • Sport is good for your health, but can promote the spread of covid-19 due to contact between athletes and the high increase in pulmonary ventilation.
  • La social distance, cleaning yuMasks are essential for the control of the disease.
  • The use of stress test surgical mask maximum does not decrease the cardiorespiratory, metabolic and performance parameters of the athlete, although it does affect comfort parameters
  • It has not been found no side effects with the use of the mask, at rest or during exercise, provided it is used properly.
  • El use of mask surgical is a very important measure in the practice of non-professional physical and sports activity, especially in closed areas and in physical contact activities.
  • They call the responsibility of all citizens, including athletes, so that prevention measures and the spread of the virus are extreme.
  • In case of not being able to assume the proposed prevention measures, the athlete must refraining from training or competing with other people

COMPLETE COMMUNICATION:

COMMUNICATION ON THE USE OF MASKS IN SPORTS PRACTICE IN RELATION TO INFECTION BY SARS-CoV2 VIRUS KNOWN AS COVID-19

The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus pandemic is having a highly unfavorable evolution, demonstrating virulence, transmission capacity and morbidity and mortality that requires taking appropriate measures to stop its expansion, which in some cases are uncomfortable and unpleasant.

Sport is an activity highly demanded by the population and that although it offers great benefits for health, from the point of view of this disease it has two enormous drawbacks in the transmission of the infection, which are, the contact and physical closeness between athletes and the high increase in pulmonary ventilation.

It is known that many sports, especially wrestling and team sports, have close contact between athletes, both in training and in competition, which favors the spread of infection among symptomatic or asymptomatic carriers.

Although it is less known, there is a growing awareness that the increase in pulmonary ventilation due to exertion, that is, the air that is inhaled and exhaled with each breath is very large. Specifically, of the 6-7 liters that ventilate the lungs at rest, it is possible to ventilate 100-

150 liters per minute in intense effort, up to 200-250 liters per minute ventilated by a high-level athlete in maximum effort. This situation means that an enclosed area can receive hundreds of liters of air from several athletes who are training, which is used again by themselves. If one of these athletes is a carrier, in all probability, they will infect some or all of their teammates.

Given the evolution of the pandemic, which is very unfavorable in terms of the spread of the virus, together with the opening of sports facilities and centers, it is clear that measures must be taken to prevent the spread of the virus and new infections.

Along with the recommendation of the known protection measures for normal life (social distance, cleaning and use of masks), complementary protection measures should be implemented in the practice of sport, the most important of which should be added to the already known, is the use of a mask in sports, especially in closed areas.

It has been argued that the use of masks has two alleged side effects for which its use should be avoided in the practice of physical exercise and sport, which would be that it is harmful to health and that it reduces sports performance.

Regarding the first argument, there is no evidence that the use of a surgical mask has harmful effects on health. Furthermore, there is evidence of prolonged and repeated use by healthcare personnel who have used them for decades during their working hours, such as in operating rooms and other healthcare settings.

It is advisable to use a new mask in each training session or competition and to change the mask in case it gets wet or dirty.

Regarding the decrease in performance due to the use of masks in sports practice, as in many aspects of this disease, the scientific information available is scarce due to the recent appearance of the disease and the difficulty of carrying out studies in many areas knowledge of the pandemic, but there is a recent study (Fikenzer S. et al) that studies the effects of the use of surgical masks and FFP2 on maximal effort in healthy adults compared to those produced without the use of masks.

The studied subjects each performed three maximal stress tests (without a mask, with a surgical mask and with a FFP2 mask). The response of cardiorespiratory, metabolic, performance and comfort parameters was studied and it was found that, while the use of FFP2 masks significantly decreased practically all the parameters studied, the use of surgical masks did not affect more than some comfort parameters (heat, resistance to breathing, itching, pressure, uneasiness).

Precisely due to this lack of knowledge of the subject, the Spanish Society of Sports Medicine together with the San Antonio de Murcia Catholic University (UCAM), have initiated a study on the consequences of the use of masks in effort in athletes of various sports.

For all the above and in the light of current knowledge, the Spanish Society of Sports Medicine and the General Council of Official Medical Associations want to make the following recommendations:

∙ The starting point of the analysis of the SARS CoV-2 coronavirus pandemic is the preservation of health, the main objective of the doctor's work, therefore the actions and medical recommendations are intended to prevent contagion and prevent the spread of the virus.

∙ The practice of physical activity and sport is very beneficial for health, but sport, from the point of view of this disease, has two enormous drawbacks that can favor its spread and that are the contact between athletes and the high increase in pulmonary ventilation.

∙ Prevention measures in normal life, consisting of social distance, cleaning and the use of masks are essential to control the disease.

∙ While waiting for new results, the use of the surgical mask in maximal stress test does not decrease the cardiorespiratory, metabolic and performance parameters of the athlete, although it does affect the comfort parameters.

∙ The use of the FFP2 mask in a maximal effort test significantly affects all comfort, cardiorespiratory, metabolic and performance parameters of the athlete.

∙ No side effects have been found with the use of the mask, at rest or during exercise, provided it is used properly.

∙ The use of a surgical mask is a very important measure in the practice of non-professional physical and sports activity, especially in closed areas and in physical contact activities.

∙ Ultimately, a call must be made to the responsibility of all citizens, including athletes, to take extreme measures to prevent and spread the virus.

∙ In case of not being able to assume the proposed prevention measures, the athlete must refrain from training or competing with other people.

∙ The ideal from a medical and health point of view, at this time of the pandemic with the current unfavorable epidemiological situation, is to avoid contact and fighting sports, until the situation normalizes. If this is not possible in daily practice, masks should be used, as indicated in the document, in order to minimize the risks of contagion.

You can download the document through this link_ Use_sports_masks

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