I don’t think I can ever get tired of articles like this – findings from studies about the benefits of art and handcrafts. This particular study was done at Drexel University and found that making art can significantly reduce stress related hormones in your body.
Now, if you read through the article, you might make note of two things: there were only 39 participants in the study and the art that was involved included materials such as paper, markers, clay, and collage materials. Personally, I love a report about a study that involves a few thousand participants or something of the sort – something about large sample size gives me a little more confidence in the results. However, I don’t question these results at all. The article mentions that while half reported that they had limited art experience, nearly 75% of the participants had lowered cortisol (a stress related hormone) after the art activity. There was little correlation between previous art experience and lowered cortisol levels.
I wish a study like this, using the quantitative data of cortisol measurements, could be done with stitching. I think we all know what the results would be – lowered levels – but it would just be that much more satisfying to see it written up in a medical journal. Who knows, perhaps it actually has been done. To me, it doesn’t matter that the material in front of the participants was more like what you would find in an elementary school art classroom rather than in our stitchy baskets/chairs/craft rooms/etc. The outcome is pretty darn close. Stitching ABSOLUTELY reduces stress – every stitcher I know seems to agree with this statement.
If you know of studies like these, articles you’ve found online, that talk about the benefits of hand crafts and art, please do let me know!