26.04.2021. With more days per week and more hours each day spent at home, many of us struggle to calm their minds and find their balance. Even when working from home, we are bombarded by a constant hype, 24/7 distraction and endless barrage of pings from our phones. The solution? Wood can make us feel better, turning our home into a happier place.
Many designers cite the warm, natural attributes of wood as a reason for its use.
Several scientific studies suggest that being surrounded by wood can contribute to our sense of well-being, productivity and even health, with lower stress levels and exposure to toxins.
A Stanford University study published in 2015 in “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences” looked at how a 90-minute walk in nature affected city dwellers’ levels of self-rumination, or obsessive negative thoughts.
Korean and Japanese studies show that forest walks defeat depression, lowering hostility levels.
Even when staying at home, exposure to wood is proven to relax heart rates and can expedite the recovery time of ill people.
Just as you would inhale fresh air in a forest, wood improves indoor air quality and climate, having the ability to regulate humidity in a room.
Mental wellness thrives from the natural effect of wood. For example, a study in the wooden waiting room of the National Oncology Institute in Slovakia found that participants experienced a 7.5% decrease in cortisol levels, indicating a stress-reducing effect.
Another study conducted at an Austrian school compared students' experiences in classrooms - one with linoleum floors and plasterboard walls and one made of wood. Those in the wooden classroom had significantly lower heart rates and a lower perception of stress.
Wood has a distinct advantage over aluminium, concrete, steel or plastic: it provides long term health benefits by emitting lower Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC).
Living surrounded by timber, particularly in a timber building, reduces by far the number of toxins that residents would be exposed to. For instance, INTERHOLCO’s flagship product, “Sustainable Hardwood Made in Africa”, is certified not to contain any highly toxic agents or radioactive components, as defined by the World Health Organization (Annex 1A, 1b) as well as the Stockholm and Rotterdam Convention. Nor does it contain any pesticides, as excluded by FSC ‘Integrated pest management’ requirements.
Wood is also one of the safest materials to use in the kitchen in direct contact with food: its anti-bacterial properties give it a clear hygienic advantage.
Talking about hygiene, studies show that coronaviruses (SARS-CoV-2) applied to wooden surfaces can only replicate for 12 hours, while on surfaces made of plastic, stainless steel, glass and masonry, the viruses remain multipliable for up to 96 hours.
Stay healthy, choose wood!
INTERHOLCO offers Sustainable Hardwood 'Made in Africa' as a responsible solution to promote better living conditions (construction with wood), reduce climate change, and increase social justice. As FSC-certified producer specialized in producing and trading logs, sawn timber, glued laminated scantlings and other products, INTERHOLCO manages the entire chain, from forest to customers since 1962. Harvesting wood selectively, INTERHOLCO protects 1.1 million hectares of natural forest from permanent conversion to agricultural land, giving 16’000 local inhabitants access to quality basic services and keeping the habitat of thousands of gorillas and elephants.
Communications contact INTERHOLCO
Tullia Baldassarri Höger von Högersthal
INTERHOLCO AG, Schutzengelstr. 36, 6340 Baar, Switzerland
Tel.: +41 (0)41 767 03 82