Physiological effects of wood on humans: a review

Journal of Wood Science, Dec 2016

It is empirically known that wood can cause a comfort enhancement effect in humans. On the other hand, not enough scientific knowledge based on evidence-based research is available on this subject. However, data using physiological indices have increasingly accumulated in recent years. This review provides an overview of the current situation for peer-reviewed reports related to the physiological effects of wood. We reviewed reports that elucidated the effects of wood-derived stimulations on the olfactory, visual, auditory, and tactile sensations using physiological indices such as brain activity (e.g., near-infrared spectroscopy) and autonomic nervous activity (e.g., heart rate variability and blood pressure). It became clear that many studies were limited by (1) a small number of participants, mostly aged in their 20s; (2) use of only a single stimulus (e.g., only olfactory or only visual), or (3) an incomplete experimental design. In addition, this review examined the field of forest therapy, for which there is abundant research. Further study is needed to elucidate the physiological effects of wood on humans.

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Physiological effects of wood on humans: a review

J Wood Sci Physiological effects of wood on humans: a review Harumi Ikei 0 1 2 Chorong Song 0 1 2 Yoshifumi Miyazaki 0 1 2 0 Present Address: Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute , 1 Matsunosato, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8687 , Japan 1 Center for Environment, Health and Field Sciences, Chiba University , 6-2-1 Kashiwa-no-ha, Kashiwa, Chiba 277-0882 , Japan 2 & Yoshifumi Miyazaki It is empirically known that wood can cause a comfort enhancement effect in humans. On the other hand, not enough scientific knowledge based on evidence-based research is available on this subject. However, data using physiological indices have increasingly accumulated in recent years. This review provides an overview of the current situation for peer-reviewed reports related to the physiological effects of wood. We reviewed reports that elucidated the effects of wood-derived stimulations on the olfactory, visual, auditory, and tactile sensations using physiological indices such as brain activity (e.g., near-infrared spectroscopy) and autonomic nervous activity (e.g., heart rate variability and blood pressure). It became clear that many studies were limited by (1) a small number of participants, mostly aged in their 20s; (2) use of only a single stimulus (e.g., only olfactory or only visual), or (3) an incomplete experimental design. In addition, this review examined the field of forest therapy, for which there is abundant research. Further study is needed to elucidate the physiological effects of wood on humans. Wood; Human; Physiological effect; Brain activity; Autonomic nervous activity Introduction Fig. 1 An example of olfactory stimulation apparatus and setup Olfactory stimulation b d d e e n d r a a tu 0 l m ra (3 o ) s e ) r e ip p 2 t n m ch em m co it s t- 3 / s h (1 n n re ig s o o p h it it cy y om la la e b ro u u se ed l n a a m im a tu ti ts p m c a S ( J A c i ty g i ) R lo tiv ]4 ic (y ])4 iso sce ac .[4 onm itiv –6 y i in o to tc 62 h d ra N u a [ n P i B A 1 A to tc to tc ]9 u a u a 4 s . s . u o u o o o v N v N r f r f e e e e y y nom itiv ]) onm itiv ]) . in o to tc 21 to tc 49 ra N u a [ u a [ I E = e a n 4 s n n= ieg )7 2 n se ac 1 5 b r 7 a ae 0 0 T Y 2 n t u t su e ir e b r 5 a ae 0 0 T Y 2 4 A liltrrsssceeobodpou :ilirrssseaaeaccenypoodoTww trseae :lseeeaeugno ititiltirr-ssaeanopphuonwmm yS eD luP Ircn oC Visual stimulation Auditory stimulation Tactile stimulation Conclusions 1. O' Grady MA ( 2015 ) Silence: because what's missing is too absent to ignore . 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Harumi Ikei, Chorong Song, Yoshifumi Miyazaki. Physiological effects of wood on humans: a review, Journal of Wood Science, 2017, 1-23, DOI: 10.1007/s10086-016-1597-9