Can knitting burn calories?

Q&A: Can knitting burn calories?

Ever found yourself completely absorbed in the rhythm of knitting, accompanied by that warm beverage and a comfy sofa? As you navigate through each stitch, did you ever pause to wonder if this soothing hobby could actually be helping burn some calories too? You’re not alone!

Turns out, any activity including our beloved knitting – that nudges the brain into action ends up burning extra calories. Can’t believe it yet? Stay with us as we unwind these yarns of wisdom on how knitting influences calorie expenditure and contributes towards your physical health – one stitch at a time.

Let’s knit those pesky calories away together!

Main Highlights

  • Knitting engages the brain and burns extra calories by mentally focusing on intricate patterns and repetitive stitching.
  • The number of calories burned while knitting can vary based on factors like weight, age, and knitting speed. On average, knitting for an hour at a moderate pace can burn approximately 100 to 150 calories.
  • Knitting offers several physical health benefits including improved hand-eye coordination, reduced stress and anxiety, enhanced focus and mindfulness.

In this article…

Does Knitting Burn Calories?

Engaging the brain can burn extra calories, but how many calories does knitting actually burn? Let’s find out.

Can knitting burn calories?

Engaging the brain can burn extra calories

Knitting isn’t just a creative pastime – it’s also a mental workout! Believe it or not, we’re actually burning extra calories while we knit. By mentally focusing our energy on intricate patterns and repetitive stitching, our brain is engaged in deep concentration.

This cognitive effort boosts metabolic rates; hence the body uses up more energy to function properly. So next time we pick up those knitting needles, let’s not forget that little fact – knitting can spark calorie burn surprisingly well!

The number of calories burned while knitting

While the exact number of calories burned while knitting can vary based on factors like your weight, age, and knitting speed, we can give a general estimate. Below is a table that illustrates an approximate number of calories burned when knitting for an hour at a moderate pace.

WeightCalories Burned per Hour
120 lbs100 calories
140 lbs116 calories
160 lbs132 calories
180 lbs148 calories
200 lbs164 calories

This table offers a rough idea and the actual number might be slightly different based on individual metabolic rates. But it’s clear that knitting can indeed contribute to our overall daily calorie burn. Let’s keep those needles moving!

Deep Dive: Can Knitting Really Burn Calories?

Knitting indeed torches calories, defying the common belief that it’s just a sedentary hobby. Different knitting techniques engage various muscle groups in our hands and arms which results in energy expenditure.

Evidence suggests that an hour of knitting can burn approximately 100 to 150 calories depending on the pace and intensity of work. This might seem insignificant when compared to high-intensity exercises like running or swimming; however, these numbers add up over time.

Just think about how many hours you can dedicate to your favorite pastime without even realizing it! The beauty of knitting lies not only in its calorie-burning potential but also in its therapeutic effects on mental health.

While burning those extra calories, your brain is getting an intense workout too, stimulating creativity and reducing stress levels simultaneously.

Benefits of Knitting for Physical Health

Knitting offers several benefits for physical health. It improves hand-eye coordination, reduces stress and anxiety, and enhances focus and mindfulness.

Improves hand-eye coordination

Knitting is not only a relaxing hobby but also a great way to improve hand-eye coordination. As you focus on your knitting needles and yarn, your brain works in harmony with your eyes and hands to create intricate stitches.

This constant interaction enhances the connection between what you see and how you move, ultimately improving your overall hand-eye coordination skills. So not only are you creating beautiful knitted items, but you’re also sharpening your mind-body coordination at the same time!

Reduces stress and anxiety

Knitting not only helps to create beautiful creations but also has a positive impact on our mental well-being. One of the benefits of knitting is that it reduces stress and anxiety.

When we sit down to knit, our focus shifts from the worries and pressures of daily life to the rhythmic movements of our needles. This meditative quality can help us relax, release tension, and calm our minds.

By engaging in this repetitive activity, we find ourselves entering a state of mindfulness where negative thoughts are replaced with a sense of tranquility and inner peace. So, pick up your knitting needles and experience the soothing power it brings to reduce stress and anxiety.

Enhances focus and mindfulness

Knitting not only benefits our physical health but also enhances our focus and mindfulness. When we engage in knitting, it requires concentration and attention to detail, which helps us stay present in the moment.

As we focus on each stitch and pattern, our minds become more calm and focused. This can be a form of meditation that allows us to relax, reduce stress, and improve our mental well-being.

So pick up those needles and let your mind find peace as you knit away!

Additional Ways to Burn Calories While Knitting

Incorporate knitting exercises and try standing or walking while you knit. Read on to discover more ways to burn calories while indulging in your favorite hobby.

Knitting while standing or walking

Knitting while standing or walking can actually increase the number of calories you burn. By simply changing your position and engaging your muscles, you can turn knitting into a light form of exercise.

Standing up while knitting helps to activate your leg muscles and burn more calories than sitting down. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can even try knitting while taking short walks around the room or outside.

This not only adds movement but also boosts your calorie expenditure. So next time you pick up those needles, consider giving yourself the option to knit on the go!

Can knitting burn calories?

Incorporating knitting exercises

To get even more physical activity while knitting, you can incorporate specific exercises into your routine. These exercises not only help burn extra calories but also provide additional health benefits.

One simple exercise is to stand up and knit instead of sitting down. This engages more muscles in your legs and core, increasing the intensity of the activity. Another option is to do light stretching or arm exercises while knitting, such as raising and lowering your arms with each stitch.

By incorporating these knitting exercises into your routine, you can turn this relaxing hobby into a fun way to stay active and burn some extra calories.


In conclusion, knitting can indeed burn calories. Engaging your brain while knitting can help you burn extra calories, and although it may not be as intense as traditional exercise, it still contributes to physical activity.

So the next time you sit down with your knitting needles, remember that even this relaxing hobby can help you stay active and burn some calories. Knit away!


1. Can knitting burn calories?

Yes, knitting can burn calories as it is a physical activity that involves repetitive hand movements and can help increase heart rate and muscle exertion.

2. How many calories can I burn by knitting?

The number of calories burned while knitting varies depending on factors such as the intensity of your knitting, duration, and individual metabolism. On average, it is estimated that you can burn around 55-80 calories per hour of moderate-intensity knitting.

3. Is knitting a good way to lose weight?

While knitting alone may not be sufficient for significant weight loss, it can be a great supplemental activity in a healthy lifestyle routine that includes regular exercise and balanced nutrition.

4. Are there any other benefits to knitting besides burning calories?

Yes, besides calorie burning, knitting has been shown to have various mental health benefits such as stress reduction, increased focus and concentration, improved mood, and promoting relaxation.

5. Can anyone knit or do I need special skills?

Anyone can learn how to knit! Knitting does require some basic coordination skills but with practice and guidance from tutorials or classes, almost anyone can master this enjoyable hobby.

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