Spruce Wood (Picea abies)
Stone-pine furniture is reported to exert positive effects on sleep quality, recovery and well-being in sleeping rooms (Grote et al., 2003).We asked if another wood (fir) has similar positive effects. In addition we put a focus on concentration skills.
Hypothesis:A room completely furnished with solid fir has positive short term effects on concentration, well-being, strain, heart rate and/or heart rate variability.
Methods: We used a balanced, cross-over design under a standardised laboratory procedure. The testing happened on two consecutive days at same time and consisted of two strain-periods (30 min) intercepted by a rest-period (30 min). 50 persons (25 men, 25 women) with an average age of 25.6 (±9.1) years were measured twice in two equally looking rooms furnished with fir (solid wood) or fir imitation (walls, floor, furniture).
Results: People in the fir room showed a significantly increase in heart rate variability (lnTOTrr: p =.036, diff: 2,77%; logRSA: p=.037, diff:4,33%) and they also reported to be less strained (p=.041, diff: 14,9%). We also found trends suggesting a more pronounced decrease of mistakes in the concentration tests after the rest-period in the fir room compared to the imitation room. These findings indicate that the rest-period in the fir room was more relaxing.
Conclusion: We conclude that subjects were less stressed during the tests in the fir room compared to the imitation room. In other words, the same quality of work can be achieved with less effort.
Experiment room furnished with solid spruce.
Less physiological strain in the spruce room.