The positive characteristics of the wood known as “the Queen of the Alps” (Stone or Cembran Pine; lat.: pinus cembra) have been valued and used for centuries. This know-how has now been subjected to an experimental scientific analysis for the first time.
Scientists of HUMAN RESEARCH (Institute of Health Technology and Prevention Research, Weiz) evaluated the effects of Stone Pine on stress and the ability to recover in a blind study on 30 healthy adults within the scope of an inter-regional research program.
A balanced, crossed repetitive measuring design was carried out in the laboratory under psychological and physical stress conditions and over 24 hours in everyday life situations of the test subjects. With the help of high resolution electrocardiogram recorders the heart frequency and its variability, autonomic parameters and the biological rhythms characteristic of recovery were investigated. Psychometric methods were implemented for the measurement of well-being, vigilance and subjective sleep quality.
The battery of tests carried out in the laboratory produced significant differences between the quality of recovery of subjects spending time in Stone Pine rooms and those in identically arranged “imitation wood” rooms. This expressed itself in a lower heart rate during physical and mental stress situations and subsequent rest phases and in accelerated autonomic recovery. The subsequent longitudinal study confirmed a significant influence of the furniture material on the physical and mental condition. The sleep quality was clearly improved in a Stone Pine bed compared to that of an imitation wood bed. Improved recuperation was accompanied by reduced heart frequency and increased oscillation of the organism in the course of the day. The average “saving” in the Stone Pine bed was about 3,500 heartbeats per day, which corresponds to about one hour’s “heart-work”. The subjective feeling of well-being of the test subjects matched these physiological results: The Stone Pine subjects reported feeling more relaxed, feeling generally fitter and were socially more extraverted than beforehand. This may be the reason why country inns in this region were panelled with Stone Pine in former times. Furniture material would appear to have a more significant effect on well-being and health than hitherto imagined. This opens up new fields of application for the high-grade wood of the “Queen of the Alps”.
Stone or Cembran Pine; lat.: pinus cembra.
Physical stress test in the Stone Pine room.
Saving of heart-work during the course of the day by sleep in a Stone Pine bed.