Knitting helps combat depression and chronic pain, report shows


A wealth of research has found that knitting is good for your mental health.

Knit for Peace has released a report called The Health Benefits of Knitting, which reviewed evidence-based research on, unsurprisingly, the health benefits of knitting.

Results found:

Knitting dramatically improves physical and mental health, like lowering blood pressure, slowing the onset of dementia, distracting from chronic pain, keeping arthritic fingers moving as well as combating depression and anxiety.

It is an activity that can be continued into extreme old age. It is a sociable activity that helps overcome isolation and loneliness, too often a feature of old age. It is a skill that can continue when sight and strength are diminished.

The organisation used a £50,000 grant from the Big Lottery Accelerating Ideas Fund to conduct an extensive review of a whole host of studies about the topic, Huffington Post reports.

A 2012 study from the Mayo Clinic found that people engaged in knitting and reading books were 30-50 per cent less likely to have mild cognitive impairment than those who did not.

Knit For Peace surveyed its members, most of whom are over the age of 60, and found that 70 per cent agreed with the conclusions of the review.

In addition to that, 10.7 per cent said it helps with chronic pain and one in five said it helped relieve the symptoms of arthritis. Some 26.1 per cent agreed that knitting helped reduce their blood pressure.

In one case study, an 85-year-old person wrote:

I can now only manage to knit children’s jumpers. I like doing it as it’s the only thing left that I can do in which I am productive and contributing as I live in a nursing home. It is something, which staff and other residents can talk with me about and it helps ease my pain.

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