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Forest Products Extension

Wood is good – for your blood pressure?

Wood has many advantages as a raw material for building things, including that it is local, renewable and sustainable. But now there is evidence that is can be good for your blood pressure also.

Researchers in Japan measured the blood pressure of people when they touched various materials such as wood, metal and plastic. While touching aluminum and cold plastics led to increases in blood pressure, these same people had stable blood pressure readings when they touched wood. Wood is a natural material whose grain patterns and other variations feels pleasant to the touch. By contrast, plastics and metals are unnaturally smooth and regular.

Wood also has a very low thermal diffusivity , which is a measure of how fast a material adjusts its temperature to its surroundings. This is why you can touch a very hot piece of wood with your bare hands and not get burned. This is another reason why wood feels good to the touch and is the reason that pots and frying pans often have wooden handles.

We are fortunate to have an abundant, growing and varied wood resource in Tennessee . There are many good reasons to use wood instead of other materials – and now you can add ‘it feels good' to the list.

 

This study was reported in the Journal of Wood Science

 

For more information, contact:

Adam M. Taylor
Tennessee Forest Products Center
2506 Jacob Drive
Knoxville, Tennessee 37996

Phone: 865-946-1125
Fax: 865-946-1109

Adam Taylor's email