Hearts made out of tree

Trees and health

A collaborative project between the County Governor, the Centre for Health Innovation, NTNU, NMBU and Innveno.

How does wood, as a material, affect our health?


The project is about examining any health effects of using wood in our indoor environment. How are we affected by seeing, feeling, and experiencing wood around us? Are there health benefits in using wood material in interiors in patient environments? Can we use our traditional resource for innovative new products or for a new understanding of good patient environment? The project seeks to document any health-promoting effects when using wood in the indoor environment.


What do we know? 

  • Studies show that rooms with a view of nature and trees provide faster discharge from hospitals and that the use of wood material in classrooms gives students a lower pulse. 
  • There is still little research on the connection between the use of wood and the health effect. 
  • Norway has large resources of trees and we know that there is untapped potential in new use of this traditional material. 
  • Increased resource utilization of the tree as part of a sustainable and circular economy is an international priority area.

What do we want? We want to investigate how wood in the interior affects hormones, brain activity, heart rate and thus the body's healing processes. We will document measurable changes in the body's response system that may be caused by the materials in the environment. Based on new knowledge of wood, we will point to new possibilities for the use of wood. We want to strengthen the tree's value chain and open up for greater use and utilization. We will provide documentation that can stimulate innovative use of wood with the intention of health benefits.


What do we want?

  • We want to investigate how wood in the interior affects hormones, brain activity, heart rate and thus the body's healing processes. 
  • We will document measurable changes in the body's response system that may be caused by the materials in the environment. 
  • Based on new knowledge of wood, we will point to new possibilities for the use of wood. 
  • We want to strengthen the tree's value chain and open up for greater use and utilization. 
  • We will provide documentation that can stimulate innovative use of wood with the intention of health benefits.

Why do we believe in this project?

  • The results from the project can contribute to knowledge that can positively assist the health service's challenges with increasing pressure on health services in the future. 
  • The project is time relevant and in accordance with society's goals for a greener environment and a focus on bio-economy. 
  • The project is solidly rooted and the project group consists of unique interdisciplinary expertise in forestry, wood technology, health, industry and business, physiology and neuroscience, psychology and architecture.


Who are the participants in the project?

  • NMBU, by Professor Anders Qvale Nyrud. Anders is a professor at the Faculty of Environmental Science and Nature Management and teaches and researches in the fields of wood technology and forest industry economics. Anders is particularly concerned with the properties of wood material, both functional, aesthetic and psychological, and increased use of wood as a material in product development. Read more about Anders and NMBU here https://www.nmbu.no/ans/anders.qvale.nyrud. 
  • The Centre for Health Innovation in Kristiansund, by director Bjarte Bye Løfaldli, https://www.ntnu.no/ansatte/bjarte.lofaldli. 
  • NTNU Wood by dir. Pasi Alto, https://www.ntnu.edu/employees/pasi.aalto. 
  • Innveno AS (formerly Siv-Incubator) by Mange Løfaldli and Iren Sæterbø, http://siv-inkubator.no/. 
  • Tree driver, County Governor of Møre and Romsdal by Christina Qvam Heggertveit.

Tre- og helsekonferansen i Kristiansund

On February 14, we arranged the Three and Health conference in Kristiansund. It was an incredibly exciting day with lots of new knowledge about the connection between wood and health. Here you can read the news article from the conference.

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