Knitting could be a life-saver to the NHS vital funds because it is linked to reducing anxiety, depression, dementia, and chronic pain – all these lead to healthier individuals, according to new findings.
These findings were published by an initiative of Knit for Peace and they offer a great number of previous studies exploring the mental and physical health benefits of knitting. Knit for Peace is a network of about 15,000 knitters that ‘knit for those in need.’
“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,” was written in the report.
Moreover, knitting is a sociable activity which can help one to overcome loneliness and isolation (usually a characteristic of old age). It is an activity that can continue when strength and sight are reduced.
Harvard Medical School’s Mind and Body Institute conducted a research in 2007 and it was found that knitting lowers the heart rate and encourages the body to relax naturally. As a result, knitting also lowers blood pressure.
Moreover, one 2012 study from Mayo Clinic examined the effects which certain activities such as quilting, playing games, and knitting have in 1.321 elderly people, 200 of whom were bordering dementia and had a mild cognitive impairment.
The researchers discovered that those people that engaged themselves in computer activities, crafting, reading books, and knitting had 30-50% fewer chances to have cognitive impairments than those who didn’t.
The review also connected knitting to an increased sense of usefulness in society, reduced isolation and loneliness, increased sense of wellbeing, reduced chronic pain, depression and anxiety.
“[It] keeps hands busy, so I’m not snacking in the evenings when watching TV. I dropped two dress sizes in my first year of knitting. It was also a useful aid in helping to stop me smoking and I think knitting would help more addictions generally,” as Sarah R. described how knitting helped her to lose weight and quit smoking.
Furthermore, knitting provides a sense of community and contribution while it reduces the feelings of loneliness at the same time.
Finally, based on the research findings, knitting could definitely ‘save the NHS funds’ because a more resilient and happier aging population is less demanding on the NHS and is less dependent on care.