We have to say that it’s no surprise to us, but now at least it’s official. Wood is good for you! According to Dr. Marjut Wallenius of the University of Tampere, Finland, “Wood has psychological effects on people and a similar stress-reducing effect to nature”.
After conducting super-scientific studies in Norway, Japan, Canada and Austria, Dr. Wallenius and his team of researchers concluded that wood appears to have positive effects on people’s emotional state. They observed that if you surround yourself with wooden furniture – ideally in a wooden structure – it will cause a drop in blood pressure and pulse rate, leading to a calming effect.
What exactly is it about wood that has these positive influences on people? “Wooden surfaces make a room feel warmer and cosier and they also have a calming effect. In these properties, wood beats all other normal surface materials,” answers Wallenius.
His research found that touching wooden surfaces gives people a feeling of safety, security and being close to nature. “It is especially interesting that the feel of wood is softer than other materials, not only experientially but also psychologically,” says the doctor.
Conversely, it was found that touching aluminium, stainless steel or cool plastic caused a rise in blood pressure. Even plants were found to have less of a calming effect than wood.
So with that in mind, it’s clear that solid wood is the perfect material to create a calming atmosphere in your kitchen, office or dining room. As well as providing a tranquil environment, wooden worktops also look absolutely fantastic. And indeed, as we’re surrounded by wood here at Worktop Express® HQ, we can attest that Dr. Wallenius’ research appears to be true – we love our iroko and wenge desks and the atmosphere here is a productive yet serene ocean of calm!