In a controversial set recommendations on Tuesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that face masks should not be worn during “vigorous intensity physical activity”.
“People should not wear masks during vigorous intensity physical activity because masks may reduce the ability to breathe comfortably,” said WHO.
It added that even during mild to moderate physical activities, wearing of face mask can lead to significant negative cardiovascular and pulmonary effects.
Instead of mask, WHO suggested proper ventilation and physical distancing at gyms must be enforced to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
However, a number of experts have countered the new guideline from WHO.
Dr. Megan Ranney, an emergency-medicine doctor at Brown University, termed the guideline as “terrifying”.
“That just makes no sense,” she told Business Insider. “There have been studies showing that face masks don’t actually inhibit breathing or [oxygen levels] during exercise.”