It’s a common understanding that any activity can burn calories. Even lying down and doing nothing can burn a certain amount of calories, albeit incredibly low. Therefore, it makes sense to ask the question, “Can you burn calories knitting?”
Knitting can indeed burn calories; you don’t have to do anything extra for that to happen. You can knit normally, and you’d already burn calories.
Of course, it can be confusing and may even go against what you’ve believed for so long to know that doing nothing, much less knitting, can burn some of your calories. With that in mind, it would help if you understand why that happens.
Why Do You Burn Calories While Idle?
The idea behind burning calories is that you must be doing something. As such, it can be quite confusing to find out that even while idle, your body burns calories.
But of course, there’s an explanation.
Even if you aren’t doing anything, your body is still performing basic life-sustaining functions autonomously and involuntarily without your input.
These include breathing, digestion, and heart beating.
Since that’s the case, your body must consume calories.
Otherwise, it cannot perform these functions. It’s similar to how smartphones work. Even while idle, a smartphone will still consume a negligible amount of its battery.
In the case of the body, it’ll consume approximately 50 to 80 calories per hour or 1,200 to 1,920 calories per day while idle. This is what they call the body’s BMR.
BMR, also known as Basal Metabolic Rate, is the number of calories the body burns to perform basic body functions. In other words, you burn that amount while idle.
The average BMR/day for males is 1,700 calories and 1,410 calories for females.
So, how does this fare against the calories burned while knitting?
How Many Calories Does Knitting Burn?
According to most knitters, they burn approximately 150 calories per hour of knitting. Compared to the 50 to 80 calories per hour of being idle, it’s double.
That’s because, although it’s not obvious, you’re doing a lot more than you’d think when knitting. You concentrate on the needle, keep count of the stitches, and put a lot of focus to ensure you’re following the pattern properly, among many things.
In other words, for what it’s worth, knitting is better than being idle.
However, keep in mind that this doesn’t apply to everyone. The calories burned by someone while performing an activity may vary according to the following:
- Age: Older people, for the most part, have much slower metabolisms. And as such, the calories they burn are typically lower than younger people.
- Gender: Males, in general, burn more calories than females.
- Body Size: People who are taller or heavier will burn more calories than those who are shorter or lighter.
- Body Composition: The number of muscles, as opposed to the fats, may also affect calories burned. Those with more muscles can burn more calories.
- Condition: Certain conditions can affect the rate at which a person burns calories. A pregnant woman, for example, will burn more calories than usual.
Since that’s the case, it’d be best if you simply use the 150 calories per hour as an estimation rather than a basis for your routine. It may be higher or lower, depending on these factors. The same applies to other activities, like crocheting.
Does Knitting and Crochet Burn Calories?
Yes, crocheting can burn calories in the same way knitting does. As far as numbers go, however, there’s usually little to no difference between the number of calories you can burn. It should still be around 150 calories per hour for both.
However, if there is an activity between these two that burns more calories, it’s more likely to be knitting since knitting is established to be harder than crochet.
If you intend to stay fit, it’s best if you have a goal on how many calories to burn.
How Many Calories Does the Average Fit Person Burn a Day?
Active or fit individuals aged should expect to burn around 2,400 calories per day. Meanwhile, sedimentary or inactive individuals should expect to burn approximately 1,800 calories a day, 600 calories lower than fit individuals.
If you want to stay fit by looking for ways to burn calories, the following list should be plenty of help as we look at activities and the calories you can burn with them.
Note: The following calorie count accounts for a 155-pound person performing the activity or exercise for an hour.
- Aerobics: 420
- Brisk Walking: 280
- Cooking: 140
- Gardening: 340
- Grocery Shopping: 220
- Hiking: 420
- House Cleaning: 210
- Jogging: 490
- Laundry and Folding Clothes: 140
- Mowing The Lawn: 280
- Raking: 280
- Running: 55 every 1 mile/hour
- Shoveling Snow: 420
- Stationary Bike: 420
- Tennis: 560
- Vacuuming: 140
- Weightlifting: 210
- Yoga: 280
Since you most likely aren’t exactly 155 pounds in weight, it might be better to look into this calculator. Select an activity, input your weight in pounds, enter the number of minutes you wish to perform the activity, and it’ll give you the output.
Does Knitting Count As Exercise?
An exercise is an activity that requires a decent amount of physical effort. So, yes, knitting counts as exercise. Not only does it require physical effort, but it also leads to an increase in your calorie burn, which is another indication of exercise.
However, keep in mind that that’s only one definition of exercise. The term “exercise” may also refer to an activity that’s carried out for a specific purpose.
For instance, reading doesn’t require physical effort, but one can call it an exercise for the brain. The same applies to knitting — it’s an exercise for the brain since it requires you to use different areas or parts of your brain simultaneously.
Of course, exercise is inherently beneficial to the body. As such, it makes sense to assume that knitting, and similar activities like crocheting, are good for you.
Is Knitting and Crocheting Good for You?
Knitting and crocheting are indeed good for you, and in many ways, too. To be precise, knitting and crocheting are good for you physically and mentally.
The following benefits should illustrate this point more accurately:
1. It Keeps the Brain Sharp
Cognitive impairment refers to when a person struggles to learn new things, concentrate, make decisions, and remember all sorts of stuff in their everyday life.
Risk factors of cognitive impairment include age, brain injury, and family history.
Though it’s usually not fully avoidable, you can, at the very least, minimize the rate at which your cognitive abilities are impaired by constantly challenging your brain.
Granted, there aren’t many things you can do to challenge the brain, but knitting should do just fine. After all, it may look easy to other people, but it requires a whole lot of focus and concentration to finish a knitting project perfectly.
You need to remember the pattern, take note of the stitches, and many more. That’s why studies show that seniors who knit have reduced chances of developing cognitive impairment. Even those who aren’t seniors can benefit from this activity.
2. It’s Incredibly Relaxing
The first benefit that most people look forward to when they start to knit is how it supposedly reduces anxiety and stress. And almost everyone who has tried knitting can testify that it does indeed minimize stress and is incredibly relaxing.
3. It Can Help Fight Depression
Though it may seem far-fetched that such a simple activity can fight depression, it’s not completely false. Studies show that knitting may cause the body to release serotonin. If you didn’t know, serotonin is a chemical that makes you happy.
4. It Offers Social Benefits
While knitting doesn’t directly help you socialize with people, it does offer the option to engage in a community with like-minded individuals. So, if you take the initiative, you can improve your social skills and health through knitting.
5. It Keeps You Busy
Though it’s quite the obvious benefit, it’s worth noting that knitting is a great way to pass the time and keep you busy. It’s a healthier alternative for checking out your smartphone every minute. And some may argue it’s also more enjoyable.
6. It Enhances Your Hand-Eye Coordination
Knitting is mostly beneficial to one’s mental health, but it also offers benefits to your physical health in the form of an improvement in your hand-eye coordination.
Hand-eye coordination refers to how you can use your hands and eyes at the same time you will it. With excellent hand-eye coordination, you can move your hands and eyes in the exact way you want. Put simply; it’s a handy ability.
Keep in mind that everyone is physiologically different. A benefit that your friend was able to enjoy through knitting may not be a benefit you get to enjoy.
Similarly, you can experience a benefit outside of these six.
Burning calories is such a huge deal to many people, so it makes sense that some people, especially knitters, would ask the question, “Can you burn calories knitting?” Surprisingly, you can, and though it’s not the best at burning calories, it’s at the very least better than many other activities you’d usually do to burn calories.
If you want to learn about the other effects of knitting, you might be interested in our other article — Why Does Knitting Make Me Sleepy?