"Every day we see the impact of wood on the well-being of users, from the youngest in day care centers or schools to the oldest in retirement homes or EMS. Supporting the conference Regards croisés : Wood & Health, appeared to us as an obvious choice".
The forest constitutes 1/3 of the Swiss territory and plays a crucial role in fulfilling essential ecological, social and economic functions.
It plays its role in storing carbon, producing wood for construction or heating and protecting against natural hazards such as avalanches, landslides or rock falls. As a habitat for both fauna and flora, it also represents for humans a space conducive to resourcing.
The beneficial effects of wood on well-being or physical, mental, social and spiritual health are no longer a secret. Forests and trees are now recognized as being able to remedy certain factors detrimental to health in a way that complements or sometimes parallels traditional public health approaches.
The research is multidimensional. It focuses on the link between trees and the reduction of cardiovascular disease, the improvement of the immune system, the influence of forest visits on mental well-being, or the perception of stress in wooden buildings.
In Japan, shinrin-yoku (meaning assimilation of the forest atmosphere or forest bath) was a response to a public health concern, in a context where the number of city dwellers was increasing along with a high suicide rate. The sylvotherapy, which results from it today, is based on scientific foundations that have become a field of medicine, and more generally, of health.
The lines of research are explored by many specialists: forest engineers, oncologists, psychiatrists, cardiologists, naturopaths, sociologists, allergists, architects, acousticians...
The Swiss wood industry is very interested in the role of wood in health. By organizing this symposium on this theme, Lignum Vaud intends to contribute to these major scientific advances affecting the architecture of our cities, our lifestyles, environment and our direct or indirect links with nature, in order to give them a voice.
Philippe Nicollier, President Lignum Vaud
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