You only need two knitting needles to take advantage of the newest health craze.
According to new research by Knit For Peace, knitting could actually improve your health. The U.K. nonprofit organization published findings on the benefits of knitting based on extensive past research, as well as their own — and there are quite a few reasons to start stitching.
In previous studies it was found that knitting reduced heart rate by 11 beats per minute, on average. It elicited “an enhanced state of calm,” and the same “flow” compared to when athletes got “in the zone” — this led to a drop in stress hormones and blood pressure, the Telegraph wrote. Knitting also aided chronic pain because it changed the individual’s focus by turning off alarm signals in the brain, the Telegraph noted. The repetitive movement of knitting increased the knitter’s mood and dulled their pain by releasing calming serotonin, the Telegraph reported.
In 2016, Torontonian Katie Sorrell said knitting helped her lead a healthier lifestyle and deal with her anxiety, The Hamilton Spectator reported. In her late 20s she found herself constantly stressed at work and decided to quit her job. She travelled through Southeast Asia and New Zealand, knitting along the way.
“I find it gives you something to focus on that’s entirely positive,” Sorrell said.
In 2015, the Canadian military sought out knitters to create Izzy Dolls for Syrian children who were to resettle in Canada. The process of knitting the Izzy dolls was said to possibly cause heightened emotion because the knitters knew the “ripple effect” their work would have, O’Connell explained to the Ottawa Citizen.