Investigating the benefits, and mechanisms, of creative activities for wellbeing


The overall aim of the Yarnfulness Project is to conduct high-quality public engagement and involvement, aimed at developing research projects with the public. There has been a recent trend in the news and online media reporting on the positive benefits of creative activities, such as knitting and crochet. The benefits cited are the promotion of good mental health and wellbeing, through relaxation and social factors. The benefits of these activities have been compared to those of mindfulness and meditation, due to the rhythmic, calming nature of such crafts.

Many of the reports and publications making the link between craft and wellbeing are subjective reports and have not been peer-reviewed. What peer-reviewed evidence is available has been based on questionnaires and qualitative interview studies. Whilst the popularity of these reports is clear, there have been no empirical studies conducted to support them.

This research project is a collaboration between researchers from Oxford, Southampton, and members of the public. We aim to set up a scheme of work that will:

Investigate published evidence; Investigate the health and cognitive benefits of creative activities; Develop ‘mindful’ creative activities with members of the public; Compare creative activities to mindfulness; Develop models of mindfulness with creative activities.

Read more at the Engagement Project Website