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Happy Hookers: findings from an international study exploring the effects of crochet on wellbeing.

Authors
  • Burns, P1
  • Van Der Meer, R2
  • 1 Lecturer, Graduate Medicine, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia. , (Australia)
  • 2 Honorary Research Fellow, Faculty of Business and Law, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW, Australia. , (Australia)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Perspectives in public health
Publication Date
May 01, 2021
Volume
141
Issue
3
Pages
149–157
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1177/1757913920911961
PMID: 32245337
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

With rising rates of mental health disorders being reported globally, it is imperative that we investigate economical and accessible ways to increase relaxation and reduce stress. While there is a plethora of anecdotal evidence as to the positive effects of domestic crafts on mental wellbeing, there is little empirical research in this area. As such, we aimed to explore perceived links between crochet and wellbeing. An online survey was developed and piloted, based on an existing tool that explored knitting and wellbeing. The final survey was promoted through social media, over a 6-week period, resulting in valid responses from 8391 individuals. Most respondents were female (99.1%), aged between 41 and 60 years (49.5%) and living in 87 different countries. Many respondents reported crocheting for between 1 and 5 years (42.6%). The three most frequent reasons reported for crocheting were: to be creative (82.1%), to relax (78.5%) and for a sense of accomplishment (75.2%). Respondents reported that crochet made them feel calmer (89.5%), happier (82%) and more useful (74.7%). There was a significant improvement in reported scores for mood before crocheting (M = 4.19, SD = 1.07) and mood after crocheting (M = 5.78, SD = 0.82); z = -69.86, p < .001, r = -0.56. Content analysis of free-text responses identified five major themes: (1) health benefits, (2) process of crochet, (3) personal connection, (4) crochet as contribution and (5) online crochet communities. The data suggests that crochet offers positive benefits for personal wellbeing with many respondents actively using crochet to manage mental health conditions and life events such as grief, chronic illness and pain. Crochet is a relatively low-cost, portable activity that can be easily learnt and seems to convey all of the positive benefits provided by knitting. This research suggests that crochet can play a role in promoting positive wellbeing in the general population, adding to the social prescribing evidence base.

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