Our love of time in nature has been termed ‘biophilia’ and explains our innate human need to connect with nature, resulting in improvements in health and wellbeing. By extension, ‘biophilic design’ is focused on enabling a human connection to nature in the built environment, where we live, work, rest and play.
Research shows that successful implementation of biophilic design principles, including the use of wood in the interior of a building, has clear physiological and psychological benefits that mimic the effect of spending time outside in nature. The feelings of natural warmth and comfort that wood elicits in people has the effect of lowering blood pressure and heart rates, reducing stress and anxiety, increasing positive social interactions and improving corporate image.
These benefits are particularly important for environments where it is difficult to incorporate nature indoors, such as hospitals, where strict health and safety guidelines may prevent the presence of plants, and office environments where views from the window are of roads and neighbouring concrete buildings.
Authored by Graham Lowe, Ph.D., a workplace performance and wellness expert, here is a new report called ‘Wood, Wellbeing and Performance: The Human and Organizational Benefits of Wood Buildings’, which shows how increasing the use of wood and nature-inspired materials can be good for our health.