Benefits of Timber
There has been extensive research around the world, demonstrating the beneficial impact on people’s health when they spend time in the great outdoors. The technical term for this innate need to seek out nature is biophilia and the benefits include:
- Increased levels of happiness and self-esteem
- Increased cognitive abilities
- Decreased stress response, blood pressure, pulse rates and cholesterol levels.
Buildings that give us this connection with nature, so we get the benefits while being indoors, are described as using Biophilic Design. Initially this involved simple additions to buildings such as increasing natural light or having plants, nature views and water features in and around the building.
More recently studies have shown that just having more timber visible in a building can also create better health outcomes. The idea being that because timber is a natural material, when we see it our brain connects it to nature and therefore our physical and mental wellbeing improves.
Multiple physiological and psychological benefits have been identified when people surround themselves with timber in the home, office, in schools and even hospitals. Some of the benefits of timber include:
- Improvements to a person’s emotional state and level of self-expression
- Reduced blood pressure, heart rate and stress levels
- Improved air quality through humidity moderation (the timber absorbs and releases moisture to maintain equilibrium with the air)
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 more information on the benefits of timber and Biophilic Design, download a copy of Planet Ark’s 2017 report Wood – Nature Inspired Design. To watch our video on environmental benefits of timber head over to our Video section.