Reduced blood pressure, heart rate and stress levels; improved social engagement; better air quality, and fighting climate change – why wouldn’t you surround yourself with wood?
That’s the conclusion of a new report by Planet Ark, Wood – Nature Inspired Design, which examines the health and wellbeing benefits of wooden interiors in homes, businesses, places of learning and places for healing.
The report says, “Surveyed Australians appear to be innately drawn towards wood. The results indicate that wood elicits feelings of warmth, comfort and relaxation and creates a link to nature.”
For example, international studies have found that in aged care homes, plants and natural materials such as wood were associated with an improvement in wellbeing, and when employees at a Norwegian hospital were asked to rate patients’ rooms, wood were the most preferred.
Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) Chief Executive Officer, Ross Hampton, said the good news for Australia is that our sustainable forest products industry means choosing wood is not only renewable, aesthetically pleasing and affordable, but also good for you, the environment and local jobs.
“Policies that encourage new buildings being constructed or renovation of existing buildings with timber product solutions and visual timber will not only help the climate but also improve people’s health and wellbeing,” Mr Hampton said.
“With technical advances such as cross-laminated timber (CLT) that make it possible to build even skyscrapers out of timber, and the growing recognition of the environmental benefits of wood over steel and concrete in construction, it’s no wonder architects in Australia and around the world are rethinking the way they think about wood in construction.
“Contributing $21 billion to the national economy and with around 120,000 direct jobs across the full value chain, our forest product industries are a vital part of the rural and regional communities they underpin right across the country.
“Australia’s industry is managed to world class standards. Sustainably harvested and replanted forests and plantations are a natural way of managing carbon, providing products, renewable energy and enhancing our community’s health. With increasing international demand for sustainably sourced forest products, Australia is well placed to become a global leader.”
Planet Ark’s report can be found here.