A stress-reducing environment
In various studies, it has been discovered that environments with wooden structures lower blood pressure and heart rate and induce feelings of relaxation. Wooden environments reduce stress just like walking in the woods does.
The effect of wood on people has been studied in many countries. Marjut Wallenius, PhD and Docent in Psychology at the University of Tampere, evaluated the results of several studies conducted in Norway, Japan, Canada and Austria at Honka’s request. The research results consistently prove that the use of wood promotes people’s physical and mental health and wellbeing. Wood has a similar stress-reducing effect as exposure to nature.
The research shows that using wood in construction and interiors of houses creates healthy, warm, and relaxing environments. Living in a massive wood house seems to reduce stress like walking in the woods.
Tanja Rytkönen, Vice President, R&D & Design
For example, a classroom study conducted in Austria showed that a solid wood classroom could positively affect the mental and physical health of children. In this study, students in the solid wood classroom were demonstrated to be healthier, calmer and less stressed than those who studied in traditional classrooms.
The tests, which took place over a period of more than a year in Ennstal, Austria, involved two classrooms with massive wood walls and two traditional classrooms for comparison. Scientists from Joanneum Research measured the students’ pulse. The average pulse rate of the students in the classrooms with massive wood walls was lower than that of the students who studied in the traditional classrooms by 8,600 beats per day. This comes down to approximately 6 beats per minute. The study also concluded that the children were more relaxed at home after school and their powers of recovery were far greater.
A summary of the study is available in German here.