Knitting has been in science news of late. Why they spend money on studies like this -when they could just talk to people on ravelry (who'd tell you all you want to know about the affects of knitting for free) boggles the mind.
First of all, Oprah had an article in her magazine about money and anxiety. There's a list of things to help you cope with the current market and economy. One of the things to do is to take up knitting.
According to research at the Harvard-affiliated Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine, the repetitive motion and focus of needlework can elicit what's known as the relaxation response—a calming meditation-like state that slows heart rate and causes blood pressure to drop. In addition, a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society suggests that knitting is associated with a lower risk of dementia for those 65 and older.
Although the benefits seem like good news to knitters, the advice that taking up knitting to help keep your mind off of the economy...isn't good advice. Any knitter knows that knitting isn't friendly to your wallet. Oh well, Oprah may not know the joys of alpaca and cashmere yet.
Another article popped up on how to stay mentally active.
...staying mentally active as in reading magazines, or pursuing a craft or hobby like knitting, pottery, and even playing computer games, in later life may delay or prevent memory loss: however watching too much TV does not.
I wonder what happens when you watch TV and knit at the same time? Do the two activities cancel each other out? Hmmm...that would explain my forgetfulness lately.
And lastly, the Early Show had a doctor tell that knitting helps you relieve stress and lowers your blood pressure. Obviously, the doctor has never tried to knit an intricate mohair lace shawl. That baby would be sure to raise anyone's blood pressure.
Oh well. science is trying to catch up to what knitters know already. Maybe someday they'll ask a knitter and get it right.