Psychological and physiological effects of a wooden office room on human well-being: Results from a randomized controlled trial

Ann Ojala, Joel Kostensalo, Jari Viik, Hanna Matilainen, Ida Wik, Linda Virtanen, Riina Muilu-Mäkelä

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Natural materials and elements are considered to support human well-being. Wooden interior well-being effects were studied using a randomized controlled trial with a cross-over design (n = 61) in two rooms: a room with wooden elements and a control room without wood. The participants first performed cognitive tasks by the computer to imitate typical office work and increase their stress level and then had a rest period in an armchair in the same room. The restoration felt, energy level, mood, anxiety, sustained attention, heart rate variability, and skin conductivity were measured in both rooms. The results were analyzed using a Bayesian approach. The anxiety felt was clearly lower at the end of the experiment in the wooden room than in the control, while the other psychological measures showed only a slight indication that the wooden room was more beneficial for relaxation. Performances in sustained attention to the response task were similar in both rooms. Contrary to expectations, the sympathetic nervous system was more active in the wooden room, during and after rest and at the beginning of experiment. Overall, the results support slight positive effects of wooden material on mood on humans in the office environment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102059
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Cognitive performance
  • Heart rate
  • Office
  • Restoration
  • Well-being
  • Wood

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 3

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


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