Health Benefits of Crocheting and Knitting

Need a reason to craft more? Or to tell your family when they ask about the hours you spend making scarves? Crocheting and knitting are good for you!

Benefits of crocheting and knitting include

  • Reduced stress
  • Better ability to cope with illness (physical or mental)
  • Decreased risk of cognitive impairment as you age

But why do knitting and crocheting help?

Relaxed, repetitive motions such as the ones used in crochet and knitting can help calm down the body and the brain. Have you ever come home and sat down to work on your current project after a bad day? Not only does working on something you enjoy help, but the actual motions involved assist in creating a better mood. Our blogger Kathryn Vercillo has gathered many stories of how crafting can help people through illnesses here on her blog. She also shares her own story of crocheting through depression.

Knitting and crochet also help with fine motor skills and keeping your fingers and hands feeling good as you age. Additionally, all patterns involve some aspects of math, keeping your mind sharp and letting you practice math skills. Seeing how math operates in the "real world" is especially helpful for kids: they can see concrete examples of the skills they are learning in the classroom.

Crocheting and knitting are often done in groups, either formally or informally. Whether you take a class, have a regular monthly guild meeting, or just get together with your friends every once in a while to chat and work on projects, chances are you have first-hand experience with how well knitting and crocheting go together with social activities. Being among friends can help combat loneliness and isolation, which can contribute to health problems.

Schools and prisons are very different institutions, but there is a trend in them for crocheting and knitting groups. Social skills are worked on in both groups, and the calming effects of crafts can be especially useful. Schoolchildren practice following instructions and using math in everyday situations. Prisoners often work on projects for charities, such as hats for the needy, or blankets for animal shelters.

How has crafting helped your health? Share your stories on social media with the hashtag #redheartyarns.

For more information, visit the Craft Yarn Council's page on health benefits and/or watch the video below.