Wood is a natural material that surrounds us every day. It is aesthetically pleasing, and brings a valuable natural touch to our interior design. And yet, many of us certainly underestimate the potential of this material.
Wood is not only a solid, resistant and aesthetic building material, it also brings many other benefits to our daily lives, including our health and well-being.
To convince you of this, we have compiled several studies and research projects based on wood and all the benefits that can be derived from it.
Wood, a natural material with multiple strengths
In construction, wood is a material that is appreciated for its many qualities. It can be deformed and compressed and has excellent mechanical resistance to impact. In addition, it is able to act as a heat regulator. In fact, wood has excellent thermal qualities.
You might think that a house built of wood is very vulnerable to fire, but in fact it is not. Wood only catches fire at 270°, whereas breezeblocks and bricks explode much more quickly in the heat. Wood therefore develops good fire resistanceIt will burn slowly and without deformation.
More and more hotels, schools, offices and old people's homes are opting for wood as their main building material because of the many benefits it can provide. In addition to its physical properties, wood also promotes creativity, attention, concentration, productivity and learning. These properties could therefore be useful to us in our daily lives, and finally allow us tobe comfortable working from home.
Many multi-family dwellings as well as single-family houses are currently built of wood. The thermal properties of wood allow considerable energy savings. Of course, the beneficial effects on health and the noticeable well-being that wood provides are also among the reasons for choosing this material.
You are probably wondering whether it is serious to claim that wood has a positive influence on our well-being and health. Well, this is exactly what the next part of our article will focus on. You might be surprised by all the benefits that this natural material can bring.
The benefits of wood for human health
Numerous scientific studies have determined that wood provides health benefits in everyday life. Studies conducted in Japan and published in 2017 in theInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health For example, research shows that wood has a positive impact on the nervous system and brain activity. So, by surrounding yourself with this natural material, wood, you will less vulnerable to anxiety, distress and depression.
LUniversity of British Columbia in Canada has demonstrated in its study that a strong presence of wood in one's daily environment significantly reduces systolic pressure (linked to heart rate) and cortisol levels (an indicator of stress).
But in addition to simultaneously regulating blood pressure and stress levels, wood is also capable of improving our performance. By living in a wooden environment, our thinking, attention and creativity tend to be on the rise. Studies have even concluded that wood promotes digestion, healing and recovery of the body.
A wooden house for a soothing everyday environment
So we have seen the benefits that wood can bring to our health. But its power does not stop there. The architectural ability of Bratislava (Slovakia), for example, has shown that, at a psychological level, the texture and grain of wood are conducive to relaxation and rest. Having a house built in exposed wood would then allow limit sleep-related problems, such as insomnia, night-time anxietyetc.
Surrounding oneself with wood would also create a a sense of security and calm. At least that is what the researchers were able to conclude. They found that this noble material had a positive influence on our psychophysiology. For those who are not familiar with the term, psychophysiology refers to the relationship between the psyche and physiological activity.
Wood is not only found in building materials. You will also find it on your furniture, your decorative objects, and even on the electronic devices that you use on a daily basis. For example, you can equip your office with a wireless bamboo keyboard and mouseThis will give you a work space that is conducive to calm and concentration. In addition, it will give your office an exotic effect, which is very trendy at the moment.
"Bois H 2" and "Le bois santé", innovative research projects in progress
Aware of the many health benefits of wood, many scientists are taking a closer look at the properties of this material. The aim is to find out how using wood for the benefit of our health. The research projects "H 2 Wood" and "Healthy Wood" are part of this approach.
"H 2 Wood", a study on the relationship between wood species and bacteria
L'École Supérieure du Bois based in Nantes is currently conducting a scientific research project in collaboration with Nantes and Angers University Hospital. This research project is called "Wood H 2" and focuses on the study of the mechanism of action of wood when it comes into contact with fungi or bacteria.
During this study, different types of wood are tested. This will allow the different effects and characteristics on each of these species to be distinguished. It is possible that a bacterial strain has a preference for a particular wood species, and on the contrary, has practically no effect on another.
The final objective of this study is to rehabilitate the use of wood in the health sectorThe results so far have been conclusive and encouraging. So far, the results obtained are conclusive and encouraging. The researchers have already been able to reveal strong interactions between certain essences and bacterial strains.
"Healthy wood", a project to fight against several diseases
"Healthy wood" is a research project aimed at developing molecules derived from substances that can be extracted from wood. The products obtained will then benefit the pharmaceutical and nutritional markets in human and animal health.
The aim of this study is to demonstrate that, in addition to being a building material, wood can also be a source of natural raw material with which it is possible to produce high value-added therapeutic active ingredients. Researchers have already managed to identify several families of molecules that could meet therapeutic needs.
The Healthy Wood research project targets several diseases in particular, such as chronic lung diseases, infectious diseases, complications caused by diabetes and neurodegenerative diseases.