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| Using Wood for a Healthy Home

Zev Stub    
Thursday, 11 April 1:47 PM

There are many advantages to using wood for construction. Wood has a high life expectancy, it is remarkably durable and strong, it won’t rust, and it is a great insulator of noise and heat. Not to mention that it looks beautiful too!

Wood is also one of the most environmentally-friendly building materials you can use. Responsibly sourced timber for construction is renewable–it comes from trees that were planted and cut down specifically for this purpose, and is not derived from natural forests. In fact, wood is the only principal building material that helps tackle climate change. Trees absorb carbon from the atmosphere, and timber production results in fewer carbon emissions than concrete or steel.

There is, however, another advantage to using wood that is less well-known but is at least as important as the other factors–it can positively affect our health. Indeed, recent studies have shown that using wood in and around the home can significantly reduce stress levels.

Biophilia is the principle that humans need a connection to nature. It is recognized that exposure to nature is vitally important for physical and mental health and wellbeing. More recently, studies have shown that wood products and interiors in the built environment result in similar health benefits to those accrued from spending time in nature.

Increasing urbanization means that nowadays people have less access to nature in their daily lives than ever before, and in Israeli cities, where space is often at a premium, this is especially true. Children often play indoors instead of outside–and frequently on screens rather than in the real world. Working hours for parents are long, and stress levels are understandably high. The disconnect with nature and the outdoors comes at a price to our health.

By using wood inside the home, however, we can achieve multiple physiological and psychological benefits, including:

• Lower stress levels

• Improved attention and focus

• Greater creativity

• Decreased pain perception

As Chris Philpot of Australia-based non-profit Planet Ark Environmental Foundation says, “The studies examining the effects of wooden rooms and furnishings clearly demonstrate that the presence of wood has positive physiological and psychological benefits… 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 and increasing positive social interactions.”

At a time when so many of us live under constant pressure, it is more important than ever to place an emphasis on the home as a place for relaxation and freedom. There is no doubt that the use of wood in construction can transform the house or yard into a place to sit and unwind after a busy day at work. Thanks to wood, even those who live in the city can be more in touch with nature and feel less stressed in their daily lives.

About Element Wood

Element Wood Creations specialize in woodwork construction, design, and project management for every need. They provide shade and roofing solutions, deck and pergola installation, parquet, fences, landscaping, and even treehouses to order.

Moshav Eshtaol,
Nachal Shemesh 29


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