Yes – your favorite hobby, craft, and pastime might actually help you burn off some calories. How amazing does that sound?
We burn calories quite easily. While it might not be enough to lose weight, it does go towards an overall goal of keeping the extra weight away. Did you know that you burn around 61 calories just lying down for an hour? Or 88 calories when reading a book or newspaper? Even sitting up and reading this article will burn almost 68 calories.
So it makes sense that doing a little more activity, like knitting or crocheting, will help you burn off more calories.
It is important to note though that the number of calories burnt doing different activities will depend on your age, weight, and heart rate.
You don’t have to feel guilty about lounging on the couch with a new knitting or crocheting project, it is helping you keep your calorie count down!
What is NEAT?
NEAT, or non-exercise activity thermogenesis, or NEPA, non-exercise physical activity, are all types of non-formal exercise that you do during the day that burns off calories.
This could include walking to the mailbox to fetch the mail, sweeping the floor, or washing dishes.
Fidgeting or doing these types of typical activities, which could broadly include knitting or crocheting, are all ways to burn off calories without actively involving yourself in training or physical exercise.
Sitting, Standing, and Walking
Obviously, our body uses different amounts of energy when sitting, standing, or walking.
Sitting is how most of us knit or crochet, as it is the most comfortable and the easiest to manage our wool and stitches. However, if you feel adventurous, you could burn more calories by standing or walking.
- Sitting – Sitting burns around 20 calories per 15 minutes, which means 80 calories per hour.
- Standing – Standing burns around 22 calories per 15 minutes, which is 88 calories per hour.
- Walking – Walking burns around 33 calories per 15 minutes, which means 132 per hour.
So, standing or walking around while knitting or crocheting may help you burn off more calories, that is if you value burning calories over comfort!
Does Knitting Burn Calories?
Knitting can be so therapeutic, with a wonderful end goal of a completed project, either for yourself or a loved one. It takes some concentration and skill, keeping count of your stitches, following a pattern, and not missing any stitches. And all of this concentration and movement does result in some calorie burning.
If you think about it, why shouldn’t it burn calories? Even though you are sitting, you are constantly moving your hands and arms to create and work on stitches, back and forth, back and forth, often for hours at a time (if you are lucky enough to have the time!)
How many calories does knitting burn?
While sitting down, knitting for an hour, a 150-pound person can burn around 100-150 calories. And this is only for one hour! The number of calories burned will obviously increase with any additional time you spend knitting.
This actually amounts to around half an hour of light exercise. So don’t feel bad about spending some extra time making some wonderfully wooly items and accessories!
A whole afternoon of crocheting can burn up to 500 calories, which can have a significant effect on your overall calorie count.
Which motor skills burn calories?
Just sitting and staying still can burn 20 calories per 15 minutes, which means in an hour you can burn off 80 calories. Now if you add knitting to the equation, with the movement of the hands and fingers constantly to create stitches, you can add an extra 70 calories burned off.
This is quite incredible, as most of us would not think that simple, repetitive movements of the hands would result in fairly significant calorie burning.
Does Crocheting Burn Calories?
Crocheting is fairly similar to knitting, instead only using one hook and wrapping the yarn over the fingers in the other hand. However, a similar movement is used, and this movement does also result in the burning of calories!
So while you are crocheting up a blanket, ready for winter, you are also burning off some of that chocolate you snacked on earlier in the day.
How many calories does crocheting burn?
Crocheting actually burns slightly more calories than knitting. In an hour, crocheting can burn off up to 173 calories. As mentioned earlier, you can burn off even more by standing or walking while crocheting, but this might leave a trail of wool following behind you, which can complicate things slightly.
An afternoon of crocheting can burn up to 500 calories!
Which motor skills burn calories?
Crocheting requires repetitive movements of the fingers, wrists, and a bit of the arm. This repetitive movement does help strengthen the joints and muscles but doesn’t do much to increase heart rate.
An increase in heart rate does help burn more calories, but as a light, non-tiring exercise, crocheting can help burn some off.
By the way, if you are an avid crocheter but suffer from joint pain, check out these ergonomic crochet hooks for arthritis.
Other Benefits of Knitting and Crocheting
Other than being able to enjoy the wonderful craft and hobby of crocheting and knitting, these two pastimes do have significant health benefits.
Calming – Crocheting and knitting involve simple, repetitive motions that actually help to calm the brain. Not only are you working towards an end goal, but knitting and crocheting give you something simple to focus on.
Stress-relief – For those who suffer from stress, crocheting and knitting can be great stress relievers. It is the opportunity to forget about everything else and just focus on the task at hand. The end result of having a finished project that was made all by you can be a great reward.
Fine motor skills – Crocheting or knitting can also help in developing fine motor skills, as well as keeping fingers and hands strong as you age. In order to be able to knit and crochet when you are older, you need to practice and strengthen while you are young.
Sharp mind – Knitting and crocheting often involve some math and following patterns, this helps keep your mind sharp and keep you focused and practicing simple math skills. This also really helps kids who need some extra practice with math, and who enjoy knitting or crocheting. It helps them passively practice math skills and keeps them doing a safe and worthwhile hobby.
Social – Often knitting or crocheting is done in groups, either as a hobby group or as classes. This is really beneficial for those who lack social contact and can also help combat isolation and loneliness. Many residents at retirement homes, or old age homes, benefit from the interaction found in these knitting or crocheting clubs, even if most of it is spent concentrating on an intricate project. It is also a wonderful way to learn new skills and spread your own knowledge.
Busy hands – For those who want to lose weight, crocheting or knitting is the perfect way to keep your hands busy and off the snacks. By concentrating on the task at hand, and enjoying it, you will be less likely to snack on unhealthy foods. As well as burning calories, it is a great way to keep your calorie count down.
Calories – As we have covered, a really great benefit of crocheting and knitting is that it burns off more calories than just sitting watching TV. You are working towards a finished product, keeping your hands and mind busy, and creating something great.
Household Chores That Burn Calories
If you aren’t a gym person or feel tired just thinking of physical exercise, you can keep up some form of physical activity by doing some chores at home.
You might not notice it, but just keeping the house clean and the laundry done does really help burn some calories and add to the physical exercise you do daily or weekly.
Keeping track of how many calories each household chore burns might motivate you to do them more often, which in turn will leave you with a spotless, laundry-free house!
Cleaning the house – Just simply cleaning the house by mopping, dusting and sweeping can burn off 346 calories per hour. Time to get spring cleaning!
Doing laundry – Doing laundry can burn around 231 calories per hour, that is 1617 calories per week if you do laundry daily.
Putting away laundry – So many of us are guilty of doing laundry and then letting it sit around, hoping it puts itself away. But by putting away laundry, you can burn up to 266 calories per hour.
Watching TV – Yes, you might feel like a couch potato lounging in front of the television, but watching a series or movie for an hour can burn 115 calories.
Burning Calories by Knitting or Crocheting
Why not start a new project, either knitting or crocheting, and get burning on the calories. Tie it all up with some extra chores at home and you might not feel guilty about skipping the gym! After all, life is to be enjoyed, and if you can kill two birds with one stone, why not?
Up Next: How to Knit Faster – Speed Knitting Tips