While knitting has long been reserved for our grandmothers, it is making a comeback with the younger generations in recent years . And this really is a very good thing, because knitting has 5 health benefits that we never suspected . And better yet: these have been validated by science. So much so that we even talked about knitting therapy!
But why is knitting good for health? Here is the answer in 5 points.
1. Knitting makes you happy
Yes, it is as simple as that! This is the result of a scientific study conducted on 3,545 knitters in 2013. Published in the Journal of Occupational Therapy, it shows that 81% of surveyed knitters said they felt happier and less stressed after spending time knitting.
For her part, Carrie Barron, a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University, explains that the benefits of knitting are similar to those of meditation. The two are in fact similar in several respects: knitting requires focusing on a movement that we repeat over and over again, thus offering us a perfect moment of relaxation .
But, if knitting alone is a good way to clear your mind and de-stress, some people also see knitting as a good time to be in the presence of other knitters.
Anyway, it is always a good time to knit!
2. The fabric reduces stress
This is directly related to the previous point.
A study has shown the beneficial effect of knitting in reducing stress. Ann Futterman-Collier, a psychologist at the University of Arizona, proved this. She asked 60 women with varying stress levels to do a textile-related manual activity for several sessions. Besides knitting, they also had the option of other activities like sewing and crocheting.
In each session, they had to describe their mood in a notebook. Your stress level was also calculated using your heart rate. In the end, everyone was less stressed and in a better mood after participating in these activities!
This can be explained by the fact that knitting requires concentration, which prevents us from thinking about our problems . Like many other creative activities, this allows us to relax.
3. Knitting is good for the brain
Knitting would help reduce memory loss in the elderly . This was proven by a study conducted by the famous Mayo Clinic, which conducts a lot of research in the medical community. This study was conducted with more than 1,300 older people, who were asked to participate in manual activities such as knitting. These activities were found to reduce memory loss by 30-50%!
Knitting would even help fight diseases like Alzheimer’s.
Why? Because, when we knit, we perform fast and orderly movements, which is why the neural connections of our brain are stimulated . These connections must remain intact. If they die, they leave the door open to major diseases, such as dementia and Alzheimer’s.
4. Knitting improves self-esteem
Like other hands-on and creative pursuits, knitting can be a great source of pride and accomplishment .
Creating something with your own hands is always rewarding, especially when it takes hours of work. Knitting a sweater requires a lot of concentration and agility. We can only be proud when we see the end result or when people ask us where we got it!
5. Knitting improves our agility and delays the onset of arthritis
As we well know, when we knit, our hands are constantly moving. We become more and more agile. But above all, we do our joints good. In fact, by constantly moving our fingers and hands, we force fluids to circulate around our cartilage , which helps hydrate our joints. Result: reduces the risk of arthritis .
It has also been proven that people who already have arthritis can alleviate pain by knitting at least an hour a day. If this is your case, it is advisable to soak your hands in hot water before starting this activity. This will hydrate your joints and make them less stiff.