Knitting and Sitting: An Unhealthy Combination

Posted: August 2, 2010 in health
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Actually, knitting has nothing to do with it. Just sitting for hours at a time is bad for your health, according to a new American Cancer Society study of more than 123,000 men and women.  Too much sitting increased the risk of dying from heart disease substantially.

People who sat a lot but exercised at some point during the day fared better than those who did not. In fact, among women who sat for long periods and did not exercise at all, the risk of dying increased by a whopping 94%! For men, that figure was 48%.

A walking work desk, like the one pictured above, is one solution. And here’s a cool alternative for knitters — a knitting belt — which actually was commonly used in days of yore.

According to the fascinating website Old and Interesting (a name that could be applied to some of my very own friends! Just kidding!!), knitting while walking was the norm in the olden days. Unlike today’s knitters, who usually aren’t knitting out of necessity, our ancestors made things — socks, hats, sweaters — that family members needed. This was before malls and department stores, obviously.

And since there was so much other labor to be done each day, spare time to sit and knit was practically nonexistent. (I imagine the lack of electricity played a role, too. Knitting in the dark usually doesn’t have a really great outcome.) So you learned to knit while walking or doing other things that left your hands free.

In light of this new study on the lethal effects of sitting, maybe it’s time for walking while knitting to make a comeback. I may give it a try on the next hike and report back later on the results.

  1. Tata says:

    Walking and knitting works fine with simple projects. If I have to watch what I’m doing I’m about to have a messy conflict with gravity and a sidewalk.

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