The health benefits of knitting and other craft hobbies

Craft hobbies – like knitting, sewing and quilting – are not only pleasant, they may have tangible health benefits.

"Reducing stress, improving mood, maybe heading off some cognitive declines and coping with chronic pain,” said Dr. John Swartzberg, head of the editorial board at the UC Berkeley Wellness Letter.

Dr. Swartzberg cites an online survey of more than 3,500 knitters, published in the British Journal of Occupational Therapy. Researchers found a relationship between frequent knitting and feeling calm.

"They think it's the rhythmic repetitive movements and the focused attention on knitting that helps them get into a psychological space that's more restful. And they think that's what's alleviating the stress,” he said.

In the same British study, knitting tended to improve mood. People who said they were sad, before knitting reported being "a little happy" afterwards.

"The researchers think and they speculated that it was the pleasure of creating something with their hands and concentrating on that creation that helped,” Dr. Swartzberg said.

More Info: The Unexpected Benefits of Crafting

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