Knitting Can Literally Make You A Healthier And Happier Person

by Thea Glassman
Image via iprogressman/Getty Images

Knitting can improve your overall health, so grab those needles ASAP.

Thinking about picking up a new hobby? You’re going to want to head straight to the yarn aisle. It turns out that knitting helps reduce anxiety, depression, slows down the chances of dementia, and packs a ton of other healthy benefits. Also, you will have an endless supply of handmade gifts — and you really can’t put a price tag on that.

According to Knit for Peace, a charity that matches knitters with good causes, there’s substantial evidence that people who are handy with a needle and yarn are leading much healthier lives.

“There is an enormous amount of research showing that knitting has physical and mental health benefits, that it slows the onset of dementia, combats depression and distracts from chronic pain. It is an activity that can be continued into extreme old age,” the report noted. “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.”

Yup, yup, yup. Please sign me up for all that immediately.

If you’re currently feeling very skeptical about the idea of creating legitimately wearable items with your bare hands — you needn’t fear. You don’t actually have to be good at knitting in order to reap the benefits. Just performing the repetitive motions in and of itself will help lower your heart rate and make you feel a lot less anxious. It’s pretty much the equivalent of a very soothing meditation class, except you don’t have to dig around your laundry for acceptable stretchy pants.

Also, as you grow older, knitting will help “diminish [the] chance of developing mild cognitive impairment and memory loss” which can lead to far less visits to your medical provider.

“Every GP appointment costs around £45 but we believe knitting could help prevent people needing to visit the doctor so much, and help them feel happier, less isolated, and more healthy,” the report said.

So, basically, a handmade scarf a day keeps the doctor away. Bring on all the yarn, please.