Here’s a fun fact - did you know that people who knit (and crochet) are more likely to stay healthy, happy and organised well into late life? It's true, in fact, it's a notion that’s scientifically supported!

Danielle Holke

Danielle Holke

A few years ago The Mayo Clinic, a top-ranking research hospital in the United States, released promising research that indicated that cognitive exercises like knitting could reduce dementia risk by 30-50%.

If that's not enough to encourage you to pick up some sticks, here are ten other health benefits of knitting compiled by Danielle Holke, the founder of KnitHacker.com and author of the new book, Knits and Pieces: A Knitting Miscellany.

Knitting improves hand-eye coordination which is helpful in general, but it also builds up neural networks that can protect against diseases like Alzheimer's.

Knitting saves time - it's true! Knitting is known to be meditative; the repetition of the needles will often induce a relaxed state. Making the mind calmer and more focused helps you become a better decision-maker, therefore saving you time throughout your busy day.

Knitting can help you quit smoking. Many people have reported success with this cessation tactic and it makes sense; if your hands are constantly occupied with needles and yarn, than you’re not smoking are you?

And now that you’re not smoking, you may be worried about your weight. Well, knitting can help with that too! If you're knitting, you’re not snacking and really, who needs to snack when there’s pretty yarn to play with?

Depression and mental health are becoming less stigmatised in our society and that’s a good thing. The meditative aspect of knitting and other types of hands-on crafting can immunise against symptoms of depression, by breaking negative thought patterns and increasing serotonin production. 6. Related to mental health and general wellbeing, knitting can help build self-esteem and instill a sense of pride. People will inevitably ask you about your flashy DIY scarf and you’ll be able to dazzle them with your newly acquired skills. Go ahead, show off!

Knitting is understood to prevent arthritis and tendinitis. Using your fingers gently builds up cartilage and can make joints stronger. If you already have arthritis, you can still benefit from knitting; the recommendation for you is to use larger needles.

Let’s face it, as a culture we are drowning in technology. Knitting provides an excellent way to take a digital detox. Even 30 minutes of knitting each day can make a difference and your eyes will thank you for the reduced screen time!

Knitting can lower your blood pressure. Getting into a regular knitting routine provides tangible health benefits such as a lowered heart rate and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the blood.

If all these great health benefits are not enough, how about increased income? Knitting can be a great side hustle once you’re past the initial learning curve. Sell hats, scarves, jewellery and even your own patterns once you feel confident enough to design your own pieces. 

Knits and Pieces: A Knitting Miscellany is published by Unicorn, RRP. £10.99. www.unicornpublishing.org

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