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Wood is good for health and well-being

Wood lovers now have scientific evidence to support what they already knew. Exposure to wood in your environment has tangible health and well-being benefits. These benefits are outlined in a new report launched by Planet Ark's Make it Wood campaign published prior to the recent World Wood Day.

Wooden building

Photo of the Dandenong Mental Health Centre - source Planet Ark report

The report titled Wood - Housing, Health, Humanity examines the growing body of research showing the range of health and wellbeing benefits of living, working and learning in environments rich in wooden furnishing and fixtures.

Some of the findings include:

  • A person's emotional state and level of self-expression improved with in wooden surroundings.
  • Residents in aged care facilities interact more with each other when surrounded by wood.
  • Students in classrooms that feature more wood have lower heart rates and stress responses than students in classrooms featuring plastic and metal.
  • Two out of three workers prefer offices with wooden chairs, desks and blinds over the same office with those items made from plastic.

The feelings of natural warmth and comfort that wood elicits in people has the effect of lowering blood pressure and heart rates, reducing stress and anxiety and increasing positive social interactions. The studies examining the effects of wooden rooms and furnishings clearly demonstrate that the presence of wood has positive physiological and psychological benefits that mimic the effect of spending time outside in nature. Wood products within a room have also been shown to improve indoor air quality by moderating humidity.

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