(CNN) — If you’re working in a stressful environment, you and your colleagues may be communicating tension to one another without even realizing it.
Effects shown in the study may help people understand situations such as stressful offices, researchers said.
A new study published in the online journal PLoS One reveals changes in brain activity when people are exposed to sweat from others who have been in a stressful situation. Researchers found that people may become more alert to potential threats when inhaling this “stress” sweat.
“The results suggest that we can detect others’ stress just by breathing in their sweat,” said Lilianne Mujica-Parodi, assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Stony Brook University in New York and lead author of the study, in an e-mail.
Researchers took sweat samples from 144 people who had put themselves in the somewhat stressful situation of tandem skydiving for the first time. Each participant was strapped to an expert skydiver, and each pair jumped from 13,000 feet. Control samples were taken from people who had run on a treadmill.