The Associate Professorship of Exercise Biology, headed by Prof. Dr. Henning Wackerhage, is currently conducting research in the "ExMask" project on new types of masks that are not attached behind the ears but are glued directly to the skin. As part of the project, eight athletes each completed three examinations in which the influence of different mouth-nose protective masks was analyzed with regard to performance impairment.
The ARD television station "Das Erste" was now a guest in the exercise biology laboratories to present the so-called "mask of the future" in the program "Live nach Neun". ARD reporter Nicole Remann spoke with project member and biologist Johannes Trefz, who is himself a 400-meter runner on the German national team.
"We measure different values that show us how strenuous the load is," Trefz explained the experimental procedure. "We measure heart rate, oxygen saturation and also examine the blood. The athletes on the cycle ergometer then give us feedback on how hard they are breathing, and we draw a drop of blood to measure the lactate. That lactate reading shows if the metabolism with the mask is different from without the mask."
The research showed "that you can cycle well with this mask up to an intensity of around 85 percent. That means you probably shouldn't ride in the Tour de France with it, but a moderate load or a good workout is definitely possible with this mask," Trefz said.
But how well does the mask stick, without the annoying straps of a normal FFP2 mask? Prof. Wackerhage explained: "The mask is made of kinesiotape and is relatively easy to apply to the face. It is very well suited for athletic stress. I have already tried it myself and cycled about 30 kilometers home with it after work in winter. That was quite pleasant with the mask."
The innovative mask was developed by Munich-based entrepreneur Mark Hüsges, who highlighted the following advantages in an interview with "Live nach Neun": "The most important thing is that the mask meets the FFP2 standard very well in terms of the two main criteria of breathing resistance and filtration. Certification is nevertheless a challenge because the standard was not originally made for COVID-19 protective masks. Nevertheless, I am very confident to get it certified in the coming months as well."
In addition to ARD, the news portal "BR24" also visited the Associate Professorship of Exercise Biology and accompanied an examination with athlete Arne Leppelsack, a successful 400-meter sprinter and one of the German Athletics Association's (DLV) young hopefuls. "With a mask, it was no more strenuous for me now than the first test I did without a mask," Leppelsack said in an interview with "BR24." "Breathing is nevertheless a good bit more difficult, but it is still bearable."
Johannes Trefz was also satisfied: "All in all, we can say that the adhesive mask can also be used for mass sports and when traveling. Breathing under the adhesive mask is significantly easier than under normal masks. But of course, breathing without a mask is most comfortable during sports."
In addition to "Live nach Neun" and "BR24," the "tz" also reported on the "Corona Mask Revolution".
To the online article of „BR24“
To the online article of „tz“
Prof. Dr. Henning Wackerhage
Associate Professorship of Exercise Biology
Georg-Brauchle Ring 60/62
phone: 089 289 24480
Text: Romy Schwaiger
Photos: ARD „Live nach Neun“/"BR24"