I was reading the (rather extensive) article about knitting on wikipedia and was thrilled to read this, under “health benefits” (I’ve pasted it here and it’s not in breach of copyright as it is WELL under 10% of the whole article.
Studies have shown that knitting, along with other forms of needlework, provide several significant health benefits. These studies have found the rhythmic and repetitive action of knitting can “help prevent and manage stress, pain and depression, which in turn strengthens the body’s immune system”, as well as create a relaxation response in the body which can decrease blood pressure, heart rate, help prevent illness, and have a calming effect. Pain specialists have also found that the brain chemistry is changed when one knits, resulting in an increase in “feel good” hormones (i.e. serotonin and dopamine), and a decrease in stress hormones.
Knitting, along with other leisure activities has been linked to reducing the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Much like physical activity strengthens the body, mental exercise makes our brains more resilient