Finnish young adults’ perceptions of the health, well-being and sustainability of wooden interior materials

Liina Häyrinen, Anne Toppinen, Ritva Toivonen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Wood as a renewable construction material presents positive human health, well-being and sustainability-related features. Several studies have indicated its lower carbon footprint compared to the main alternative construction materials and its physiological and psychological characteristics have positive impacts on human health. The objective of this study is to investigate how young adults perceive the health, well-being and sustainability impacts of wooden interior materials. The findings from the four focus groups indicate that generally the image of wooden materials is positive although some concerns were identified. Further, wood as an interior material is perceived to have mainly positive psychological impacts on human health and well-being. From a sustainability perspective, participants recognized both negative and positive impacts of wooden materials mainly relating to environmental sustainability. Findings also revealed that although participants appreciate health and sustainability in the contexts of housing and particularly interior materials, still the materials' appearance and the financial situation of young participants' households dictate their criteria for choosing housing. The study results suggest that positive health impacts of wood, as well as its broader sustainability impacts, should be better acknowledged and promoted more broadly in society. This could result in greater appreciation towards wood and wooden materials among consumers.

Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Forest Research
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)394-402
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • Wood
  • case study
  • construction materials
  • consumers
  • focus groups
  • housing materials
  • indoor materials
  • 4112 Forestry
  • 212 Civil and Construction engineering

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