A recent study conducted by the Occupational Safety & Health Council (OSHC) and PolyU found that people who wear high breathability masks (with Delta P <3) while doing manual labour or exercise are less likely to experience shortness of breath. They also exhibit less fatigue. The study suggests that users and employers should consider both filtration efficiency as well as breathability (Delta P) when choosing masks.


Over the period from February to October 2021, Dr Shirley Ngai, Associate Professor of the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences at PolyU and her team were commissioned to study the impact of different breathability rates and shapes of masks on the physiological responses of wearers undergoing work or workouts.


The findings revealed that, in comparison with wearing a high Delta P mask (Delta P~5.3), wearing masks with a low Delta P value (Delta P~2.7) could reduce the load on the cardiopulmonary system (e.g. heart rate and respiratory rate) and the fatigue of manual workers.


It is worth noting that wearing a low Delta P mask can reduce workers’ physiological burden during manual work. It may also reduce the tendency of wearers to take off or pull down their masks due to discomfort, thus offering better protection against COVID-19.


Take a look at the recent news reports to learn more about this study, and some expert tips in choosing face masks.


Ming Pao Daily News
Sing Tao Daily
Sky Post
Headline Daily