Wood is Good for Health & Wellbeing
By using natural elements like wood we can bring nature indoors and provide a healthier, happier environment for all.
The use of wood in the interior of a building has clear physiological and psychological benefits that mimic the effect of spending time outside in nature. 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, increasing positive social interactions and improving corporate image.
These benefits are particularly important for environments where it is difficult to incorporate nature indoors, such as hospitals, where strict health and safety guidelines may prevent the presence of plants, and office environments where views from the window are of roads and neighbouring concrete buildings.
Bringing the Benefits of Nature Indoors
As it is not always possible to increase our time spent outside, particularly in areas like workplaces, schools and hospitals, understanding how to incorporate the physiological and psychological benefits of nature into our indoor environments is increasingly important.
Wood – Nature Inspired Design
Planet Ark has completed a new report — Wood – Nature Inspired Design — which outlines the importance of connecting buildings with the natural world and how with biophilic design we can bring nature indoors and provide a healthier, happier environment for all.
Workplaces: Wellness + Wood
Building designers are increasingly incorporating natural elements into indoor environments based on growing evidence associated with biophilia, the principle that connection to nature is essential to human wellbeing. Now world-first research has revealed that natural-looking wooden surfaces in the workplace are strongly associated with increased employee wellbeing and satisfaction, affording potential significant improvements to their productivity.
The study – Workplaces: Wellness + Wood = Productivity – showed natural-looking, sustainably sourced wood has a key role in the design of green buildings and cities. Now there is evidence for the first time that there are real and measurable benefits associated with including natural-looking wood in the workplace.
Employees surrounded with natural wooden surfaces on average reported higher personal productivity, mood, concentration, clarity, confidence and optimism – and were more likely to find their workplaces relaxing, calming, natural-feeling, inviting and energising.
By proving the benefits associated with wood, designers who want to bring natural elements into workplaces now have an extra tool in their armoury. Ultimately, as the research report concludes, better workplace satisfaction and wellbeing leads to better productivity.
For more information on the health, wellbeing and productivity benefits of natural-looking timber in offices, read the free report.
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