Knitting can be stereotyped as a ‘granny’s hobby’, one where it is depicted as a group of elderly women, sitting together and knitting scarves. However, this is not the case. Many people of all ages enjoy knitting, some for the friendship and social benefits it brings, and others enjoy it as they can sell their handmade goods. Of course, many people are unaware that knitting does not only make clothing or toys but can improve your health too.
Knitting is often the last thing that people think of that will improve their health. The hobby, however, enjoys plenty of benefits to your health and well-being. Apart from the social side of knitting, it also has a calming effect which helps to reduce anxiety and depression. It also helps to distract from chronic pain, and it also reduces heart rate. It can even slow down the onset of dementia by lowering cognitive impairment and therefore lowers the chance of memory loss.
Photo Credit: Knit for Peace
Knit for Peace, a network of over 15,000 ‘knitters’ who knit for the needy, published a report on how knitting benefits your health and it was reported that overall health had improved in people who had taken up the hobby.
“Evidence-based research shows knitting has positive health benefits, physical and mental,” The report states. “Knitting for those in need is a voluntary activity that can carry on into extreme old age and can be undertaken by those whose sight, hearing and mobility are severely limited.”
The report goes on to say: “Our experience suggests, however, knitting is not well perceived as a potential preventative and treatment measure. […] As a process, knitting encompasses repetitive tasks that require physical and cognitive skills,” which in turn slows down the progress of diseases like dementia.
Photo Credit: Harlow Gallery
Along with the report, Knit for Peace also surveyed 1000 of its own members and 92% of those in poor, or very poor health, said that knitting improved their health. 92% said that knitting improved their mood, and 82% of those surveyed said that knitting had relaxed them.
Photo Credit: TheSpruce.com
If you don’t know how to knit, don’t worry! There are plenty of tutorial videos available on YouTube, and if you’re not one for computers, there are plenty of materials out there to teach you, and you can pick the hobby up in as little as two hours. Why not pick up a pair of needles and give it a try?
Article by: Marsha Turner
Featured Image: Photo Credit: Families Online