Most of us are intentional about staying healthy. We find time to exercise, work to reduce our stress and cook well rounded meals. Additionally, many people are building knitting into their self care regimen. It turns out that a slew of recent studies have revealed that kitting is actually an amazing activity to promote health and reduce stress. Avid knitters cite their hobby as the reason for everything from their reduced chronic pain to weight loss. I was intrigued so I did a little digging to see just how solid these claims are.
As it turns out, I’m not the first to be struck by the strong claims of the knitting community. Harvard Medical School and Mayo Clinic have both researched the benefits of knitting along with a variety of other intrigued professionals.
A UK based movement called Knit For Peace has seen the benefits of knitting first hand. The movement was begun to help the homeless and those in need, but members of the community are quick to talk about how the projects have reduced their depression, increased their sense of purpose, and helped relieve their chronic pain. One knitter even explained that her new hobby has helped her lose two dress sizes because it eliminates her tendency to snack in the evening.
The studies conducted by Harvard Medical School and Mayo Clinic have linked knitting to:
- Decreased Anxiety and Depression
- Increased Sense of Well Being
- Distraction from Chronic Pain
- Increased Sense of Usefulness
- Decreased Loneliness
If you find yourself struggling with the winter blues then it may be time to head to a craft store and pick up a beginners knitting kit. You may not need more hats or scarves, but there are many people and animals that could benefit from a warm blanket. Crafting for a Cause makes it possible to knit warm blankets for baby elephants, rhinos, chimpanzees and others. Not only will you be knitting your way to better health, but you also get to envision the adorable baby animal who will benefit from your work.
As pictured in the New York Times, image courtesy of Save Elephant Foundation.