Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Why Quilting Improves your Health in ways even Exercise can't Manage

Would you believe that quilting is good for your health?  Or maybe you thought so, but never had the proof.  Ann-Marie Waddell who is an avid quilter and a customer read the article below (from Mail Online from the UK published June 13, 2011) and wanted to share with all fellow quilters.  Thank you very much Ann-Marie for sharing!

"As devotees of a quiet and contemplative pastime, they would be the last to make a fuss about it.  But quilters, it seems, have every right to celebrate their craft after researchers found that it is 'uniquely' good for you.  

A study found quilting improved well-being in ways that physical and outdoor activities could not, and offered a creativity that had been 'stifled' in the modern world.

The University of Glasgow team concluded that all hobbies - 'from reading to train spotting' - should be looked at for their mental and physical benefits.

They interviewed quilters and found the activity helped their cognitive, creative and emotional well-being, particularly among older people. 

The use of bright colours was 'uplifting', the activity distracted from the stress of work, and quilting offered challenges such as maths and geometry.  It also increased confidence and had an important social side.

Professor Jacqueline Atkinson, co-author of the study and a quilter herself for for five decades, said: 'Doing something that engages you and that you enjoy is key.  As adults, we don't often do enough that includes fun and play.  We put a lot into studying the use of green spaces and that's useful to individuals and communities.  But maybe we need to say there are other things too.'

Graduate student Emily Burt interviewed 29 members of the group and transcripts were analysed for the study, published in the Journal of Public Health last week.  It concluded that: 'Whether it is growing vegetables, kitting a jumper or discovering a new scientific formula creativity may be fundamental for well-being and has received little attention so far within public health. 

'Exploring creativity and what people do in their everyday lives, which they deem creative, may be an important avenue for well-being promoters.  Additionally, more consideration needs to be given to all hobbies from reading to trainspotting, and their potential for enhancing well-being.'

Craft Scotland said interest in quilting amongst younger Scots was increasing but there was no measure for how people people take up the hobby individually or in clubs.

Emma Walker, chief executive of Craft Scotland, said the research backs up what they are seeing on the ground.  She said: 'We've definitely seen an increase in groups doing quilting socially but also individuals.  There's an emotive connection as well as financial need to recycle.  Historically older groups of women did quilting but women in their early 20s are getting together and children's groups are also taking it up.  People are investing in quality pieces of quilting, but also looking to make items themselves and re-use materials they have in their homes.  I can only see the popularity increasing.'

The craft industry contributes around £3 billion a year to the UK economy." 

On that note, I wish you happy quilting and enjoy the health benefits!

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