ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Surprising Health Benefits of Knitting

Updated on June 18, 2018
Sara Stietz profile image

Sara is the proud mama of two rabbits, Walter and Eleanor, Helga the cat, and a dog named Dante.

Knitting my latest nephews blanket over top of him
Knitting my latest nephews blanket over top of him

Knitting Your Way To A Healthier You

Are you thinking of taking up knitting? The benefits of this hobby are greater than the single sock born of three weeks work. Research is suggesting that yarn art, such as knitting and crocheting, has therapeutic benefits for people of all walks of life. Stitchlinks calls it a bilateral, rhythmic, psychosocial intervention. Those coping with mental health issues, chronic pain, insomnia, and addiction can achieve some level of relief when engaging in these activities. It has also been linked to delaying the onset of dementia. The Mayo Clinic reports that crafting can delay the onset of Alzheimer's by 30-50%.

Move over apples, there is a new doctor repellent in town.

Mental Health

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, more than 450 million people live with mental illness worldwide. Just over 18% of adults in the U.S. have an anxiety disorder. Interests and hobbies are difficult to maintain when coping with mental health concerns. For stress, anxiety, and depression a hobby can offer a neutral focal point outside of ones own mental prison.

Knitting, or crocheting, can subtly help an individual conquer their personal demons. Mistakes can be undone without panic. A finished project is an accomplishment to be proud of. The prolonged gratification of a large project encourages patience.

From a chemical standpoint, the repetitive motion, releases the 'feel good' hormone Serotonin. Many individuals experiencing depression have low levels of that particular hormone and can improve with knitting.

Physical Health

Chronic pain affects people for a variety of reasons. Defined as pain that lasts three months or longer, these conditions can have a negative impact on an individuals quality of life.

On a chemical level, knitting can help with pain by releasing Serotonin. This hormone is known for regulating mood as discussed in the last section. This isn't the only benefit, however, as Serotonin is also a natural painkiller.

Though not a cure, knitting has been successfully used to distract the sufferer from the pain. Research has shown that the brain can only concentrate on one thing at a time. Crafting requires enough attention that the brain becomes unable to focus on the pain. Anyone who has experienced prolonged periods of time in pain can understand what a relief that is.


Insomnia, the inability to sleep, is a condition that has many negative effects on the sufferer. Lack of sleep impacts physical and mental health as well as productivity and safety. Ten percent of adults report experiencing chronic insomnia (the condition persists for 3-6 months or longer). Roughly one third of the population has experienced periods of acute insomnia during adulthood. Sleep specialists recommend a calming, meditative, activity when sleeping is difficult. Instead of laying in bed, becoming more frustrated or dwelling on the sleep you're not getting, knit a few rows on a simple project and clear your mind. This is a good time to work on new dish rags. Just like you find lost items once you stop looking for them, sleep will come more easily if you focus elsewhere.


Addiction takes on many forms. Food, narcotics, cigarettes, alcohol, and gambling are a few common examples. Breaking my addiction to cigarettes was the catalyst for my use of yarn therapy. Starting with crocheting, I successfully broke the habit cold turkey. Keeping my hands busy, crafting a blanket, was the single most useful tool for my success.

The rhythmic motion of the stitches distracts from withdrawal or cravings. Advertising in the media can make life a living hell for an alcoholic or food addict with beer and fast food commercials at every break. Turn off the t.v. and pick up the needles for a distraction from whatever monkey is on your back.

My first double pointed needle project. It eventually became a sock.
My first double pointed needle project. It eventually became a sock.


This article is not meant to suggest you replace doctor visits or medications with knitting alone. Always speak with trained medical professionals before quitting a medication. Yarn crafting can be another useful tool in the arsenal to reduce the symptoms of several conditions, prevent onset of illness, and kick some bad habits along the way. The sock, hat, mitten, scarf, and dish rag collection is just a perk of this therapeutic activity. Happy stitching!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)