Seeing wood surfaces in a room can lower stress levels, according to a study by the University of British Columbia and FPInnovations.
The study found that when wood surfaces were visible in a room, sympathetic nervous system (SNS) activation, which is responsible for physiological stress responses, was lowered in humans. In the study, researchers created four office environments, two with wood furniture and two with plastic furniture. They then gave student participants a series of tests in the different environments, monitoring their heart rate and skin conductivity before and after the examinations. Stress as measured by SNS activation was lower in the wood room in all periods of the study, according to the report.
“This result opens the door to a myriad of stress-related health benefits that the presence of wood may afford in the built environment,” the report states.