A recent study published by the American Council on Exercise (ACE) has found that elevation training masks are delivering a powerful benefit to athletes.
“When it comes to increasing the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood, the benefits of feeding the ego through social media are irrefutable,” ACE chief science officer Bryant Cedrick said in a statement. “Choosing the right camera angle, movement and filter needed to get the most positive feedback is a complex and difficult formula, but these types of masks seem to make that formula easier.”
In the ACE study, researchers at the University of Wisconsin divided 24 experimental participants into two groups: 12 amateur fitness athletes who regularly post images of themselves in training masks to Instagram and 12 who do not. The study monitored participant performance levels and social media engagement week after week for six weeks.
While performance significantly declined for the control group, they experienced a drastic increase (35 percent) in Instagram post engagement.
“Wearing the mask clearly made it more difficult for study participants to breathe, making their performances worse and generally miserable to watch,” continued Cedrick. “Yet the social media benefit appears to be significant.”
Cedrick’s team has suggested that covering one’s face with a mask somehow gives viewers the impression that you are a “bad ass.”
“We don’t understand the mechanism that causes this response, but we are hopeful that future studies will shed more light on how training mask can be leveraged for social-media benefit,” Cedrick said.