Recent studies, along with evidence emerging from Europe and Asia, suggest that the use of wood indoors lowers stress reactivity of the sympathetic nervous system. This is associated with lower blood pressure, lower heart-rate, lower psychological stress, lower susceptibility to illness, and a better ability to focus attention.
The reason for this effect is biophilia, the innate attraction of humans to life and life-like processes. Simply being in the built environment produces a low level of stress since urban living is relatively new on an evolutionary scale. Canadians spend 88% of their time indoors, so finding ways to reduce this stress is important. In addition to greater use of natural daylight, access to views of nature, and the introduction of plants, architects and designers are specifying more wood in public spaces.
One recent study that supports this theory was conducted by the University of British Columbia and FPInnovations. For details about this study click here.