Class Year


Document Type

Student Research Paper

Date of Creation

Spring 2022

Department 1

Health Sciences


Oxygen deprivation masks are being advertised towards athletes as a piece of fitness equipment that can simulate the effects of high altitude, as well as a respiratory muscle training device. Studies that investigated the claims as to whether ODMs increased VO2max and improved endurance were looked into. Experimental data did not find that the use of these masks increased VO2max, nor was there any supporting data to prove that it improved endurance. The function of ODMs as a training tool to increase respiratory muscle strength was also examined. There were contradicting results between the three different studies examined. One study found that ODMs did not show any improvement in respiratory muscle strength as participants in the ODM group perceived breathing efforts as higher, which can be seen as an indicator for weak muscular strength. In the second study, researchers found that participants in the ODM group had increased contraction of respiratory muscles and higher maximal voluntary ventilation than the control group which indicates stronger respiratory muscles. The final study found that the use of ODMs did not lead to any statistical significance in a 5-kilometer run, nor did it significantly increase diaphragm thickness which is associated with diaphragm strength. To conclude this paper, the claims made by oxygen deprivation masks with regard to increasing VO2max and improving endurance are incorrect. Claims that oxygen deprivation masks increase respiratory muscular strength are inconclusive, however, there is more data that indicates ODMs do not increase strength. It should be noted that the type of physical activity used for training, flow rate of oxygen, and period of training time all varied and should be considered when analyzing the findings.


Written for HS 319: Environmental Physiology

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 License.