Have you ever thought about the potential health benefits of knitting or crocheting? Maybe sitting down to knit some mittens doesn’t seem like the most earth-shattering way to boost your health, but it’s certainly a relaxing one!

Many studies have found evidence that knitting or crocheting can lower blood pressure, reduce stress, and even improve memory and brain function as we age. Even the immune system can be boosted by knitting, and studies show we feel more relaxed and upbeat. Why is this so?

The Scientific (and Unscientific) Health Benefits of Knitting

Medical researchers believe the relaxed, repetitive motions of these types of crafts are similar to meditation. The creative process also keeps fine motor skills honed and our minds sharp while we do “real world math” while working on a project.

A double loop or ‘purl stitch’ done while we’re knitting is neuroprotective. A study from doctors at the Mayo Clinic found that knitting helps keep the neural pathways functioning properly.

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A University of British Columbia study showed that 74 percent of women with anorexia nervosa saw improvements in their eating disorder after learning to knit.

A study published in the Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences found that people who took up knitting and crocheting late in life reduced their chances of suffering memory loss or other mild mental impairments.

The UK website Stitchlinks, which focuses on “therapeutic knitting,” asks knitters to submit their stories of how knitting has helped improve their health. The non-scientific survey shows that 54 percent of people with depression reported that knitting helped them feel better, while 60 percent of people reported that the craft lets them focus attention away from chronic pain.

Who knew the health benefits of knitting could be so wonderful?!

For everyone from sailors who ‘tie knots’ at sea to grandmothers knitting a cozy blanket, creating these things with ‘textile therapy’ is beneficial for mental, physical, and psychological health. Many are even calling knitting the ‘new yoga.’ Even Russell Crowe claims to be an experienced knitter.


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About Christina Sarich:
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Christina Sarich is a humanitarian and freelance writer helping you to Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. Her blog is Yoga for the New World. Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing the Body And Mind Through the Art of Yoga.