Doctor runs 22 miles in face mask to prove it won't affect oxygen levels

face mask, running, exercise
Photo credit (Photo by Guillermo Legaria/Getty Images)

(KMOX) - An ICU doctor from the United Kingdom recently grew tired of seeing false rumors being spread about wearing a face mask while working out. There were some saying a mask – meant to slow the spread of COVID-19 – would deplete your oxygen levels because it was blocking air from your nose and mouth. 

Tom Lawton decided on a humid summer day to run nearly a full marathon to disprove that theory. 

"I work in intensive care, I know physiology so I knew that this wasn’t true," he told CTV News. "So I thought how can I demonstrate it? How can I reassure people who would like to do their bit and wear a mask but are scared?"

He ran 22 miles with a face mask on and tracked his oxygen levels the entire time by wearing a pulse oximeter. 

ICU doctor runs 35 kilometres wearing face mask to disprove false claims https://t.co/BMfpcUFJFo pic.twitter.com/pn2hCHs7RU

— CTV News (@CTVNews) August 2, 2020

Lawton explained anything above 95% is considered a normal oxygen level. He says he checked his gauge every half hour throughout his run and found that his oxygen levels, "were 98 to 99 all the time, completely normal oxygen levels all the way."

He does understand some of the reasons why some refuse to wear a mask while working out. 

"It’s certainly unpleasant and I feel for the people who don’t like wearing them, but this is one of the things that’s going to help us," Lawton says. 

If you're in need of a face mask that's best for working out, check out these options from Men's Health. The magazine found the 10 best face mask for work out warriors. 

© 2020 KMOX (Entercom). All rights reserved