The Health Benefits of Knitting

Author(s):*Listed Alphabetically
Knit for Peace

Year of Publication:

Charities Advisory Trust

Publication Type:


This report, comprising both a Literature Review (funded by the Big Lottery Accelerating Ideas Fund) and a survey of knitters who donate their knitting to Knit for Peace, examines the health benefits of knitting, especially for the elderly, and the opportunities it offers for volunteering.

The evidence based research shows knitting has positive health benefits, both physical and mental. It was reported that knitting: lowers blood pressure; reduces depression and anxiety; slows the onset of dementia; is as relaxing as yoga; distracts from chronic pain; provides an opportunity for creativity (at a time of reducing capacity); increases sense of wellbeing; reduces loneliness and isolation; and increases sense of usefulness and inclusion in society.

Knitting for those in need is a volunteering activity that can carry on into extreme old age and can be undertaken by those whose sight, hearing and mobility are severely limited. It provides an activity that gives a sense of purpose. Knitting for charity makes people feel more useful and worthwhile. Self-worth is important post retirement, especially with physical decline.

In parallel to the Literature Review, a Survey was undertaken of over 1000 of the knitters who donate their knitting to Knit for Peace, to distribute to those in need. The perceived health benefits were similar to those evidenced in the Literature Review. It was also reported that Knit for Peace enabled them to knit by providing an outlet for their knitting. It also gave them a chance to help others, which enhanced their sense of usefulness. Knitting made them better able to cope with problems of old age, including dementia.

Evidence Type: Survey

Main Focus: Wellbeing / Quality of life

Research Purpose: Literature Review

Context: Community

Participant Group: Adults

Art Forms: Crafts

Access Type: Free Download

APA Citation:

Knit for Peace (2017). The Health Benefits of Knitting. UK:Charities Advisory Trust.