American Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN (Print): 2333-4592 ISSN (Online): 2333-4606 Website: Editor-in-chief: Ratko Pavlović
Open Access
Journal Browser
American Journal of Sports Science and Medicine. 2020, 8(2), 69-75
DOI: 10.12691/ajssm-8-2-5
Open AccessArticle

Using a Standard Respiratory Air Filtering Device during Moderate Intensity Exercise does not Affect Post Exercise Pulmonary Function

Karen Birkenhead1, , Chris Barnett2 and Colin Solomon1

1School of Health and Sport Sciences, University of the Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore, Australia

2Novartis Pharmaceuticals Australia Pty Ltd, Macquarie Park, Australia

Pub. Date: November 23, 2020

Cite this paper:
Karen Birkenhead, Chris Barnett and Colin Solomon. Using a Standard Respiratory Air Filtering Device during Moderate Intensity Exercise does not Affect Post Exercise Pulmonary Function. American Journal of Sports Science and Medicine. 2020; 8(2):69-75. doi: 10.12691/ajssm-8-2-5


Physical exercise requiring oxidative energy transfer increases pulmonary ventilation (VE). In an air polluted environment, the exercise-induced increase in VE increases the volume of toxic gases and number of toxic particles to which the pulmonary system is exposed. Using a respiratory air-filtering device (RAFD) during exercise decreases exposure to inhaled toxic gases and particles. However, a RAFD creates external resistance to inspiration and expiration which could decrease pulmonary muscle function and pulmonary volumes, and creates an external mechanical dead-space which produces fractional rebreathing which could increase pulmonary flowrates. This experiment tested the hypotheses that using a RAFD during exercise would; decrease post-exercise peak inspiratory pressure (PPI) and peak expiratory (PPE) pressure, FVC and FEV1, and increase post-exercise flowrates. Using a repeated-measures, counter-balanced design, six healthy moderately aerobically-trained, men (mean ± SD; age 24.7 ± 1.7 years; peak oxygen utilization [VO2peak] 42.8 ± 5.3 ml kg-1 min-1) completed two 30 min exercise test sessions at a power output equal to 75% VO2peak. One session was performed not using (NORAFD), and one using a RAFD (Moldex 8000) fitted with organic vapor cartridges and combined dust and mist pre-filters (inspiratory resistance = 0.216 kPa, expiratory resistance = 0.094 kPa at 85.0 l min-1). All pulmonary function tests were performed immediately pre-(Pre) and 0 (Post-0), 5 (Post-5), and 15 (Post-15) min post-exercise. There was a significant (p<0.05) main effect of time with an increase in FEV1, FEV1/FVC%, PEF, and FEF50% from Pre to Post-0. There were no other within or between condition differences in any of the pulmonary muscle pressures, volumes or flowrates. It was concluded that using a RAFD during moderate intensity medium duration exercise does not affect post exercise pulmonary function.

respiratory protection pulmonary function physical activity exercise

Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit


[1]  Elliott, A. D. and Grace, F., An examination of exercise mode on ventilatory patterns during incremental exercise, Eur J Appl Physiol, 110 (3), 557-562, 2010.
[2]  Carlisle, A. J. and Sharp, N. C. C., Exercise and outdoor ambient air pollution, Br J Sports Med, 35 (4), 214-222, 2001.
[3]  Jetté, M., Thoden, J., and Livingstone, S., Physiological effects of inspiratory resistance on progressive aerobic work, Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol, 60 (1), 65-70, 1990.
[4]  Romer, L. M. and Polkey, M. I., Exercise-induced respiratory muscle fatigue: Implications for performance, J Appl Physiol, 104 (3), 879-888, 2008.
[5]  Haverkamp, H. C., Metelits, M., Hartnett, J., Olsson, K., and Coast, J. R., Pulmonary function subsequent to expiratory muscle fatigue in healthy humans, Int J Sports Med, 22 (7), 498-503, 2001.
[6]  Tiller, N. B., Turner, L. A., and Taylor, B. J., Pulmonary and respiratory muscle function in response to 10 marathons in 10 days, Eur J Appl Physiol, 119 (2), 509-518, 2019.
[7]  Chevrolet, J. C., Tschopp, J. M., Blanc, Y., Rochat, T., and Junod, A. F., Alterations in inspiratory and leg muscle force and recovery pattern after a marathon, Med Sci Sports Exerc, 25 (4), 501-507, 1993.
[8]  Mahler, D. A. and Loke, J., Pulmonary dysfunction in ultramarathon runners, Yale J Biol Med, 54 (4), 243-248, 1981.
[9]  Smith, C. L., Whitelaw, J. L., and Davies, B., Carbon dioxide rebreathing in respiratory protective devices: Influence of speech and work rate in full-face masks, Ergonomics, 56 (5), 781-790, 2013.
[10]  Sandsund, M., Reinertsen, R. E., Holand, B., and Bjermer, L., Thermoregulatory and respiratory responses in asthmatic and nonasthmatic subjects breathing cold and warm air during exercise in the cold, J Therm Biol, 32 (5), 246-254, 2007.
[11]  Askanazi, J., Silverberg, P. A., Foster, R. J., Hyman, A. I., Milic-Emili, J., and Kinney, J. M., Effects of respiratory apparatus on breathing pattern, J Appl Physiol Respir Environ Exerc Physiol, 48 (4), 577-580, 1980.
[12]  Hermansen, L., Vokac, Z., and Lereim, P., Respiratory and circulatory response to added air flow resistance during exercise, Ergonomics, 15 (1), 15-24, 1972.
[13]  Flook, V. and Kelman, G. R., Submaximal exercise with increased inspiratory resistance to breathing, J Appl Physiol, 35 (3), 379-384, 1973.
[14]  Coyne, K., Caretti, D., Scott, W., Johnson, A., and Koh, F., Inspiratory flow rates during hard work when breathing through different respirator inhalation and exhalation resistances, J Occup Environ Hyg, 3 (9), 490-500, 2006.
[15]  Caretti, D. M., Scott, W. H., Johnson, A. T., Coyne, K. M., and Koh, F., Work performance when breathing through different respirator exhalation resistances, Am Ind Hyg Assoc J, 62 (4), 411-415, 2001.
[16]  Johnson, A. T., Scott, W. H., Lausted, C. G., Benjamin, M. B., Coyne, K. M., Sahota, M. S., and Johnson, M. M., Effect of respirator inspiratory resistance level on constant load treadmill work performance, Am Ind Hyg Assoc J, 60 (4), 474-479, 1999.
[17]  Louhevaara, V., Tuomi, T., Korhonen, O., and Jaakkola, J., Cardiorespiratory effects of respiratory protective devices during exercise in well-trained men, Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol, 52 (3), 340-345, 1984.
[18]  Roberge, R. J., Kim, J. H., Powell, J. B., Shaffer, R. E., Ylitalo, C. M., and Sebastian, J. M., Impact of low filter resistances on subjective and physiological responses to filtering facepiece respirators, PLoS ONE, 8 (12), e84901, 2013.
[19]  Putten, M. v., Verstappen, F., and Bloemen, L., Physical exercise and industrial respirators, Int J Sports Med, 5 S13-S14, 1984.
[20]  Yasukouchi, A., Breathing pattern and subjective responses to small inspiratory resistance during submaximal exercise, Ann Physiol Anthropol, 11 (3), 191-201, 1992.
[21]  Caretti, D. M. and Whitley, J. A., Exercise performance during inspiratory resistance breathing under exhaustive constant load work, Ergonomics, 41 (4), 501-511, 1998.
[22]  National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory (NPPTL). (2020, June 30). Standard respirator testing procedures. Available:
[23]  Johnson, A. T., Respirator masks protect health but impact performance: A review, J Biol Eng, 10 (1), 4, 2016.
[24]  Bunyan, D., Ritchie, L., Jenkins, D., and Coia, J. E., Respiratory and facial protection: A critical review of recent literature, J Hosp Infect, 85 (3), 165-169, 2013.
[25]  Aranda, A., Díaz-de-Mera, Y., and Jarama, I., Could portable powered respirators help us avoid the exposure to air pollution?, Air Qual Atmos Hlth, 11 (7), 765-771, 2018.
[26]  American Thoracic Society, Standardization of spirometry, 1987 update, Am Rev Respir Dis, vol. 136, pp. 1285-1298.
[27]  American Thoracic Society/European Respiratory Society, ATS/ERS Statement on respiratory muscle testing, Am J Respir Crit Care Med, 166 518- 624, 2002.
[28]  Ross, E., Middleton, N., Shave, R., George, K., and McConnell, A., Changes in respiratory muscle and lung function following marathon running in man, J Sports Sci, 26 (12), 1295-1301, 2008.
[29]  Krowka, M. J., Enright, P. L., Rodarte, J. R., and Hyatt, R. E., Effect of effort on measurement of forced expiratory volume in one second, Am Rev Respir Dis, 136 (4), 829-833, 1987.
[30]  Suratt, P. M., Hooe, D. M., Owens, D. A., and Anne, A., Effect of maximal versus submaximal expiratory effort on spirometric values, Respiration, 42 (4), 233-236, 1981.
[31]  Brenner, A. M., Weiser, P. C., Krogh, L. A., and Loren, M. L., Effectiveness of a portable face mask in attenuating exercise-induced asthma, JAMA, 244 (19), 2196-2198, 1980.
[32]  Nisar, M., Spence, D. P., West, D., Haycock, J., Jones, Y., Walshaw, M. J., Earis, J. E., Calverley, P. M., and Pearson, M. G., A mask to modify inspired air temperature and humidity and its effect on exercise induced asthma, Thorax, 47 (6), 446-450, 1992.
[33]  World Health Organization. (2009). Global health risks. Mortality and burden of disease attributable to selected major risks. Available: lthRisks_report_full.pdf?ua.
[34]  World Health Organization. (2016). Ambient air pollution: a global assessment of exposure and burden of disease. Available: 11353-eng.pdf?sequence=1.