You all know what knitting is? You may think of it as your granny’s favorite pastime, but according to experts, it has noticeably positive effects on our health. A new research has discovered that knitting can significantly reduce anxiety and depression and slow the onset of dementia in the elderly as well. Furthermore, it can also distract the mind from chronic pain, which means that it can save the NHS billions per year and lead to a healthier population!
The interesting research was led by the Knit for Peace initiative. It was based on dozens of past studies on the mental and physical benefits of knitting and was conducted on 1,000 Knit for Peace members. As the report revealed, knitting can help in the fight against anxiety, depression, and chronic pain, so it shouldn’t be seen as a feature of old age at all.
As a matter of fact, it’s a powerful skill that can help you overcome loneliness and depression, two major problems in today’s society.
The initiative received a well-deserved grant in the range of £50,000 from an innovation fund to conduct the research. Before they got the money, scientists working with Knit for Peace presented a review of past studies done on the subject which haven’t seen the light of day. For example, a Harvard study from 2007 found that knitting every day can reduce heart rate and calm a person down, effectively reducing blood pressure as well.
A Later 2012 Study
This time conducted by The Mayo Clinic, revealed that knitting reduces the risk of cognitive impairment in the elderly by 30-50% when compared to playing games, quilting, and other activities.
The same study also found that knitting can reduce the risk of anxiety, depression, loneliness, isolation, and makes people feel far more productive and useful. These findings were confirmed in Knit for Peace’s research. Over 70% of the initiative’s members over 60 believed that knitting is the key behind their perfect health, with most stating that it helps them relax.
One out of ten participants said it helps them deal with chronic pain, while one out of six reported it relaxes their muscles. Some believed it helped them deal with their arthritis, while a quarter of the subjects attributed knitting with lower blood pressure due to its therapeutic nature.
In One Of The Case Studies
A woman reported that knitting helped her lose weight and stop smoking when nothing else would. As the woman stated, it kept her hands busy and her mind occupied, which led to massive weight loss and finally being able to quit smoking.
According to a recent report, more than a million Brits are “chronically lonely”, and knitting can help if this is indeed true. Joining knitting groups can help people socialize and improve their sense of usefulness. Due to the calming nature of knitting and the time spent among a group of friends, time would fly by quickly.
Even those older than 80 know of the benefits of knitting. As one 85-year old woman reported in the study, even though she can’t knit as precise as she did before, she can still knit children’s jumpers and she does it all the time. The woman believed that knitting keeps her as productive as she can be at that age and feels it’s the reason behind her non-declining mind.
Knowing all of this, knitting could really help save the NHS tons of money while keeping the British population healthy, both mentally and physically. Time for a knitting class with granny, perhaps?