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Benefits of knitting discussed on ITV's This Morning

Posted on in Creative News

Viewers of ITV's This Morning were told by Dr Chris Steele that they could lower their risk of hypertension, or lower blood pressure, simply by taking up knitting.

According to the NHS, high blood pressure, or hypertension, puts extra strain on your blood vessels and vital organs increasing a patients' risk of heart disease, strokes and heart attacks.

You can lower blood pressure by eating a healthy diet, and by regularly exercising but according to This Morning's Dr Chris Steele knitting could also help.

The discussion comes after a widespread literature review by Knit for Peace looked at the health benefits of the traditional craft after receiving testimonials from their 15,000 volunteers about how the hobby had improved their lives.
They discovered that knitting is as relaxing as yoga, distracts from chronic pain, such as arthritis, boosts wellbeing, brings down blood pressure and keeps the mind sharp.

It also reduces loneliness and isolation and allows older people to feel as if they are still useful to society.

In Britain, the NHS spends more than £2 billion each year on blood pressure treatments so prescribing knitting could be a cheap way to battle a host of age-related conditions, the report concludes.

"Research has shown there is a growing crisis in primary care and with GP services in particular. Now is the time to adopt more imaginative and innovative approaches," the report says.

"As a skilled and creative occupation, knitting has a therapeutic potential. There is an enormous amount of research showing that knitting has physical and mental health benefits."

"We found a surprisingly large body of research showing the health benefits of knitting. What is more surprising is how little known the research is," Dame Hilary Blume, founder and director of Knit for Peace, said.

"Knitting is often dismissed or derided as old-fashioned but it should be promoted because of its health-giving qualities.

"Every GP appointment costs around £45 but we believe knitting could help prevent people needing to visit the doctor so much, and help them feel happier, less isolated, and more healthy."

The report also calls for knitting to be taught in schools.


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