Dr. Harumi Ikei and her colleagues of Chiba University’s Center for Environment, Health and Field Sciences in Japan, whose work focuses on nature therapy and is often published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, conducted a study in 2017 that focused on tactile stimulation and wood. Their study enrolled 18 university students who were asked to touch white oak wood, tile, stainless steel, and marble for 90 seconds each with a 60 second rest in-between. The study found that touching wood with an open palm helped to create a calm feeling and effect in humans that could be measured. However, the same relaxing effect was not found with tile, stainless steel, and marble.
Curious about White Oak Wood?
According to the United States Department of Agriculture’s Wood Handbook, white oak lumber comes chiefly from the South, South Atlantic, and Central States, including the southern Appalachian area. They are often cut into lumber, railroad crossties, cooperage, mine timbers, fence posts, veneer, fuelwood, and many other products. An important use of white oak is for planking and bent parts of ships and boats. White oak is also used for furniture, flooring, pallets, agricultural implements, railroad cars, truck floors, furniture, doors, and millwork.
Browse our North American and European White Oak Products HERE.
Curious about Nature Therapy?
Nature therapy is simply the practice of being in nature to improve mood, reduce stress, and to help you feel more relaxed. Check out “Roaming the Americas” blog post, 14 Beautiful Spots to Escape to Nature in New York City, for some fun and relaxing activities to help you engage in nature therapy!
Ikei, H., Song, C., & Miyazaki, Y. (2017). Physiological Effects of Touching Wood. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 14(7), 801. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14070801
United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory. (2010). Wood Handbook: Wood as an Engineering Material. Madison, WI: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory.