Handcrafts like knitting, sewing and crocheting are just as popular today as they have been for thousands of years. In fact, there are good reasons why hand crafts have survived in today’s digital world. Scientific studies show that engaging in hand crafts present positive health benefits for seniors.
A very popular handcraft activity is knitting and besides the pure enjoyment of knitting something that can be worn and shown off, there are real scientifically proven health benefits that come with knitting. Knitting and crocheting are often part of occupational therapy programs. Knitting is both physical and mental therapy with the following benefits:
Knitting and Crocheting Reduce Stress, Anxiety and can Lower Blood Pressure
Knitting is very relaxing and calms anxiety and stress. Research shows it can also lower blood pressure.
Beneficial for Stroke Survivors
Knitting is a great way for stroke survivors to regain lost motor skills in their hands. The repetitive movements also help to improve coordination between the hands, eyes and brain.
Handcrafts can Prevent Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) by 30-50%
Knitting, quilting and crocheting help to prevent mild cognitive impairment (MCI). A study published April 1, 2019 in the Journal of Neuropsychiatry shows the benefits handcrafts have for seniors suffering from mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and that they can prevent MCI by 30-50%.
Handcrafts Beneficial for People Suffering from Hand Arthritis
Knitting helps to keep the joints open in the hands and is beneficial for people suffering from hand arthritis.
Handcrafts are Good Reminiscent Therapies for People with Memory Loss
Knitting can trigger memories in people who may remember all the good things they used to make with handcrafts.
Handcrafts Boost Self-confidence and Self-esteem
Handcrafts like knitting, sewing and crocheting are a fantastic way for gaining self-confidence and boosting esteem. First of all, are the many complements the handcrafter receives for making beautiful and useful items. Hand crafted items can be worn or donated and sold to charities.
Handcrafts Improve Socialization
Knitting and crocheting groups, as well as quilting bees, are a great way for seniors to improve socialization by making new friends and by sharing tips and ideas about the beautiful items they are making.
Engaging in Handcraft Activities can Help to Fight Depression
Research shows that knitting can help to fight off depression, as it is relaxing and relieves stress. Knitting also makes people happy.
Handcrafts can Help Seniors from Gaining Weight
Handcrafters claim they enjoy the work of their hands so much, that they do not bother filling up on snacks and junk food while they are busy knitting or crocheting. The result is that they do not gain weight.
Handcrafts can be used Therapeutically by Bed-ridden People
Bed-ridden seniors can also knit or crochet even if they are lying flat on their backs, but their arms should rest on a cushion. If they can be propped up this will make it even easier to knit or crochet.
Take Lots of Breaks and Walk Around
It is very important to take frequent breaks, get up and stretch your legs and walk around. You should also rest your feet on a hassock or foot stool. Sitting too long is not good for your circulation.
Park Crescent Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center
The Park Crescent Health and Rehabilitation Center in East Orange, New Jersey offers a find array of occupational and recreational therapy activities.
Handcrafts offer so many health benefits that it pays to knit or crochet away!