Wood is a natural material that surrounds us on a daily basis. It is aesthetic, and brings a very appreciable touch of nature to our interior decoration. And yet, certainly many of us underestimate the full potential of this material.
Indeed, wood is not only a solid, resistant and aesthetic building material: it brings us many other benefits on a daily basis, especially in terms of our health and well-being.
To convince you of this, we have grouped in this article 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 valued for its multiple qualities. It has the ability to deform, compress, and it develops excellent mechanical resistance to shocks. In addition, it is able to play the role of a heat regulator. Indeed, the wood has excellent thermal qualities.
One might think that a house built of wood is very vulnerable to fire, but in truth it is not so. This material catches fire only from 270 °, while cinder block and brick explode much faster under the influence of heat. The wood therefore develops good fire resistance, burning slowly, and without deformation.
Hotels, schools, offices and retirement homes are increasingly opting for wood as the main building material, because of the many benefits that it can bring. Indeed, in addition to its physical properties, wood also promotes creativity, attention, concentration, productivity and learning. These properties could therefore be useful to us on a daily basis, and finally allow us to be comfortable working remotely.
Collective housing as well as individual houses are also many to be made of wood currently. This material makes it possible to achieve considerable energy savings due to its thermal qualities. Of course, the beneficial effects on health as well as the significant well-being that wood brings are also part of the reasons for choosing this material.
You are probably wondering if it is serious to claim that wood positively influences our well-being and health. Well, it is precisely on this topic that the next part of our article will expand. You could then be surprised by all the benefits that this natural material can bring.
The benefits of wood for human health
Numerous scientific studies have made it possible to determine that wood brings health benefits on a daily basis. Studies carried out in Japan and published in 2017 in theInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health for example, they demonstrate that wood has a positive effect on the nervous system and brain activity. Thus, by surrounding yourself with this natural material that is wood, you will be less vulnerable to anxiety, anxiety and depression.
LThe University of British Columbia in Canada, meanwhile, she demonstrated in her study that a high presence of wood in her environment on a daily basis significantly reduces systolic pressure (related to heart rate) and cortisol level (an indicator of stress).
But in addition to simultaneously regulating blood pressure and stress level, wood is also able to improve our performance. By living in a wooden environment, our reflection, our attention as well as our 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 environment on a daily basis
So we have seen the benefits that wood can bring to our health. But his power, however, does not end there. The Faculty of Architecture of Bratislava (Slovakia) has, for example, demonstrated that, psychologically, the texture and grain of wood are favorable to appeasement and rest. Having a house built of exposed wood would then make it possible to limit sleep-related problems, such as insomnia, night anxieties, etc.
Surrounding oneself with wood would also make it possible to give birth to a feeling of security and calm. In any case, this is what the researchers were able to conclude. The latter have indeed found that this noble material has a positive influence on our psychophysiology. For those who would not be familiar with this term, psychophysiology corresponds to the relationship between the psyche and physiological activity.
Wood is not found only 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. So, for example, you can equip your office with a bamboo wireless keyboard and mouse, in order to organize a workspace conducive to calm and concentration. In addition, it will give your desktop 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 benefits that wood can bring to our health, many scientists are taking a closer look at the properties of this material. The goal is to find out how exploiting wood for the benefit of our health. It is precisely in this approach that the research projects "Bois H 2" and "Le bois santé" are part of.
"Wood H 2", a study on the relationships between wood species and bacteria
It’École Supérieure du Bois based in Nantes is currently conducting a scientific research project in collaboration with scientific researchers from the University Hospital of Nantes and Angers. This research project is called "Bois 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 wood species are tested. This will make it possible to distinguish the different effects and characteristics on each of these species. It may indeed be that one bacterial strain has a preference for a particular species of wood, and on the contrary have practically no effect on another.
The final objective of this study is to rehabilitating the use of wood in the health sector, such as in a hospital or clinic for example. So far, the results obtained are conclusive and encouraging. Researchers have already been able to reveal strong interactions between certain species and bacterial strains.
"The healthy wood", a project to fight against several pathologies
"Le bois santé" is a research project aimed at the development of molecules derived from wood extractables. The products obtained will then benefit the pharmaceutical and nutritional markets in human and animal health.
The objective 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 therapeutic active ingredients with high added value. Researchers have already succeeded in identifying several families of molecules that can meet therapeutic needs.
The research project "Le bois santé" targets several pathologies in particular, such as chronic lung diseases, infectious diseases, complications caused by diabetes and neurodegenerative diseases.