When it comes to health and wellness, the design of your home may prove to be just as important as your diet, sleep habits or exercise routine. This is the premise behind biophilic design – the idea that incorporating natural elements into your home, such as wood, water, sunlight or plants, can actually improve overall health.
A review of research from Canada and Austria found that humans automatically relax when they’re surrounded by elements from the natural world, like wood. In fact, these materials have a pronounced effect on the autonomic nervous system, lowering blood pressure and stress levels.
Whether purchasing a new home or remodeling, nature is easily incorporated into a home through a wood feature wall, ceiling, wainscoting or floors.
“We’re talking about wood where we can see the grain. This really has a fundamental effect on the autonomic nervous system,” environmental psychologist Dr. Sally Augustin says. Unlike other natural elements, wood can also be used for a home’s structure and exposed beams still produce a stress-reducing response.
An added benefit? Wood in the home also works to improve air quality by moderating humidity.
So, however you choose to bring wood into your living space, its health benefits are more than just instinctive. There’s real science behind why the nature of wood helps you live a healthier life.