Have you ever felt a sense of calm or relaxation while walking through a forest or sitting by a stream? Or perhaps you've felt a surge of happiness and contentment while admiring a stunning natural landscape? It's no secret that being in nature can have a profound impact on our physical and mental well-being. But did you know that incorporating natural materials into our living and working spaces can also have similar positive effects?
One of the most remarkable natural materials is wood. Wood has been used by humans for thousands of years, and it continues to be a popular choice for interior design. Not only is it versatile and aesthetically pleasing, but it has also been shown to offer a wide range of physiological and psychological benefits.
One of the most compelling reasons to choose natural wood floors over synthetic alternatives is its environmental sustainability. Responsibly sourced timber, like the kind used by Hoff Parquet, can provide a plethora of benefits, both to those who enjoy it and the environment at large. As a material, wood acts as a natural carbon sink, absorbing and storing carbon rather than releasing it back into the atmosphere. The production of environmentally friendly wood floors and furnishings can be far less polluting than highly processed or synthetic alternatives, while providing a non-toxic presence within your home or workspace.
Not only is natural wood eco-friendly, but it also has numerous benefits for our health and well-being. For example, studies have shown that natural wooden surfaces can help to lower blood pressure, reduce anxiety, and create feelings of warmth and comfort. When exposed to wood panelling, study participants have exhibited a reduction in blood pressure, while those exposed to steel panelling suffered the opposite. This can be traced to the sympathetic nervous system, which prepares our bodies for stress. When activated, the sympathetic nervous system can raise blood pressure and heart rate, compromise immunity and recovery, and lead to feelings of stress and anxiety. By introducing eco-friendly parquet flooring into your living or working space, you can keep your sympathetic nervous system calm and contented.
In addition to benefiting our heart health and reducing stress levels, natural wooden surfaces can also have positive effects on our cognitive abilities. Studies have shown that exposure to natural materials can boost happiness and self-esteem, decrease stress, lower blood pressure, and increase cognitive abilities. When compared to synthetic or highly processed materials, natural wood has been shown to be more effective at improving cognitive function and overall well-being.
Moreover, natural wooden surfaces can also improve air quality by moderating humidity. Wood has a natural ability to absorb and release moisture, which helps to maintain an equilibrium in the space it inhabits. This natural "breath" means that when the air is more humid or very dry, your wood floors will help to keep your interiors more pleasant. Wood also boasts natural antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, further contributing to air quality. This can have a powerful impact on our everyday lives, as poor air quality can reduce productivity and lead to ill health.
Finally, choosing natural wooden surfaces can also provide a sense of connection to our cultural heritage. Wood is one of the most historic and versatile materials ever used by humanity. Evidence of wooden construction has been found everywhere, from Neolithic sites to the pyramids of Egypt. Today, we see ancient sites of wood still standing, such as the 1700-year-old Horyuji temple in Japan and Greensted Church in England, which is almost 1000 years old. Given this long history, perhaps it is no mystery that we are positively attuned to wood within our surrounding environments.
In conclusion, the use of natural materials, particularly wood, can have a profound impact on our physical and mental well-being.