According to the findings of one new report, knitting could save the NHS vital funds as it leads to a healthier population. It could also reduce depression and anxiety, slowing the onset of dementia and distract from the chronic pain.
Published by Knit for Peace, the findings are the result of extensive research into some studies from previously, analyzing the benefits of knitting, as well as the initiative’s research. Knit for Peace, which has formed a network of 15,000 knitters in the UK, also surveyed 1,000 of its members about their experiences. It has been suggested that knitting is beneficial to a healthy mind, as well as body.
The group decided to study the matter after a lot of the members reported improved overall health after taking up the hobby. It turned out that the relaxing craft can be credited for a lot of health benefits.
The report revealed:
There is a lot of research which has shown that knitting has physical, as well as mental health benefits, that it also slows the onset of dementia, combats depression and distracts from chronic pain. It is an activity which helps to overcome isolation and loneliness, too usually a feature of old age. It is also a skill which can continue when sight and strength are diminished.
A study from 2007, conducted by the Mind and Body Institute of Harvard Medical School, found that knitting lowers our heart rate, by an average of 11 beats per minute, and it also induces an enhanced state of calm, which is similar to that when we do yoga.
What is more, one study from 2012 from the Mayo Clinic, examined the effects of activities which include knitting, quilting and playing games in 1,321 older people, nearly 200 of whom had a mild cognitive impairment and were in the intermediate state between normal aging and dementia. The researchers have found that those that engaged in crafting, computer activities, as well as knitting and reading books were 30-50% less likely to have mild cognitive impairment than those that did not.
Also, the hobby which is usually connected with elderly can also help in fighting loneliness, a plague which affects about 1.2 million older people in the UK, and it can increase a sense of usefulness and inclusion. The findings have been supported by the own survey of 1,000 members of Knit for Peace.