Aromatherapy improves work performance and reduces stress

Researchers at the Autonomous University of Barcelona in Spain found that aromatherapy can help improve work performance and reduce workplace stress. In their study, they assessed the efficacy of aromatherapy in providing these benefits.

  • The researchers recruited 42 administrative university workers.
  • The participants were randomly divided into an aromatherapy group and a control group.
  • All participants were invited to participate in a specific session once held in a university computer classroom.
  • While seated in front of a computer, the researchers switched on some oil diffusers.
  • For the aromatherapy group sessions, they diffused petitgrain essential oil, while they diffused a neutral oil for the control group sessions.
  • At the same time, the participants accomplished a computer task wherein they had to type using their keyboard until they finished the task.
  • Before the intervention, the participants completed anxiety and mood state questionnaires, and answered the questionnaires again after the intervention.
  • The participants’ heart-rate variability was also measured before, during, and after the intervention to analyze autonomic nervous system regulation.
  • The results showed that the aromatherapy group accomplished the typing task 2.28 minutes faster than the control group.
  • They also experienced reduced anxiety and improved mood after the intervention.
  • These outcomes suggest that inhaling petitgrain essential oil can improve work performance and mental and emotional condition due to the main components of petitgrain: linalyl acetate, linalool, and myrcene.
  • Aromatherapy worked by reducing stress levels and increasing attentiveness and alertness.
  • These findings were published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.

Based on the findings, the researchers concluded that aromatherapy, in particular inhaling petitgrain essential oil, can boost work performance and improve mental and emotional well-being.

To read more studies on the benefits of aromatherapy, visit

Journal Reference:

Huang L, Capdevila L. AROMATHERAPY IMPROVES WORK PERFORMANCE THROUGH BALANCING THE AUTONOMIC NERVOUS SYSTEM. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 1 March 2017; 23(3): 214-221. DOI: 10.1089/acm.2016.0061

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