Monday, November 7, 2011

Wood Your Cabinets Make You Happier?

These days we’re hearing a lot about “environmental design” and “healthy homes”. Formaldehydes in board materials, VOC’s in finishes and closer to home mould & mildew found in the walls of improperly built condominiums; all of these can have a physical impact on the inhabitants of a given space. Fortunately we have the ability to choose proper materials to prevent these situations.

But what about the emotional impact of our choice of materials? For example, do the materials used in a kitchen affect the inhabitants emotionally as well as physically? That was the question researchers at the University of British Columbia and FPInnovations set out to answer. In particular they were looking at how the presence of wood in one’s environment impacted their levels of stress.

119 people took part in the study that measured several physiological stress reactions when exposed to environments that contained wood, and those that did not. What they discovered was a significant decrease in the stress-related responses in the “wood environments.” The results of this study can be easily applied to environments like schools and hospitals, but home environments as well.

So when you’re planning your kitchen remodel, consider how stressful you may feel while cooking or cleaning. Perhaps a wood kitchen is the answer.

Source:  "More Wood = Less Stress" by David Fell.  Canadian Woodworking Magazine March/April 2011


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