Wood and human health

— Wood and human health

A recent study by British Columbia University and FPInnovations has determined that it does exist a connection between wood and human health. This study demonstrates that the presence of wood surfaces in a room did decrease the sympathetic nervous system’s activity, which is responsible for human responses towards stress.

From a scientific point of view it has already been demonstrated that contact with nature reduces blood pressure, heart rhythm and aggressiveness, while it also enhances the ability to concentrate, focus your attention and helps in the realization of creative activities. Indeed, a study performed on patients that were in the process of common abdominal operation recovery, showed that those with views to nature had a rather faster recovery and needed less amount of painkillers.

In the study several working environments were created in order to analyze the effects of natural materials in the nervous system. Identical pieces of furniture were displayed, in one office colored in white, and in other with wood finishes. During the trials, people were told that they were going to perform a specific task, they were never told they were taking part in a study that contemplated the effects of the materials around them. During the experiment their heart rates and their skin conductance were measured and observed.

As a result it was noticeable that stress stimulated by the sympathetic nervous system was lower in those people who worked in the room with wood during all phases of the study. The individuals in the wood room had less stressful or concerning thoughts.

Apart from the study, we know that wood, since it is a natural material owning to its composition and origin, benefits mental and physical health.  Wood brings well-being, not only because of its aesthetic appearance but also for its pleasant feel, its low heat conductivity and its capacity to control humidity, making interior environments more agreeable, increasing comfort.

There are existing therapies available with wood like maderotherapy, which we will talk about in a different article.

Finally, it is important to recall that wood is a natural temperature and humidity  regulator, as well as a great thermal insulator, which provides considerable benefits for housing and office users.

For all this, the least one could say is that the use of wood creates a healthier environment for the human well-being.


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