Home   News   Article

Lockdown the 'perfect time' to start a hobby; Pastimes could be key to surviving coronavirus confinement


By Hector MacKenzie

Easier access to your trusted, local news. Have a look at our brand new digital subscription packages!



Research by Stitch & Story, a knitting retailer and part of the government’s ‘Exporting is GREAT’ campaign, has found that 48 per cent of adults in the UK don’t have a hobby.

This comes at a time when many of us are confined to our homes due to the spread of coronavirus.

Of those that do not have a hobby, 98 per cent of respondents admitted to wanting to start a hobby but never following through with it. This is despite them spending time researching hobbies in the past year.

A total of 486 adults were surveyed across the UK, with the survey aimed at understanding how many people don’t have a hobby and whether they struggle to find one.

Jennifer Lam, co-founder of Stitch & Story, said: “There are many benefits to having a hobby, from helping to relieve stress through to filling free time. Now is a perfect time to start one as we are spending more time than ever within our own homes. A hobby can be viewed as a positive during this troubling time.”

Why do people want a new hobby?

When asked why they would like a hobby 78 per cent of those without one said the main reason was to relieve stress, followed closely with feeling a sense of achievement.

• Relieve stress (62 per cent)

• To learn a new skill (24 per cent)

•Filling free time (11 per cent)

Is now the perfect time to start?

According to Jaime Kurtz, Ph.D., an associate professor of psychology at James Madison University, a hobby “offers many benefits, such as helping you cope with stress and structure your time. Hobbies are not simply a distraction. They can leave you with a sense of happiness and meaningfulness in your life.”

Public Health England also recommends “focusing on a hobby or learning a new skill” to manage your mental health during this difficult time of isolation, with the government body releasing new guidelines on Sunday.

One survey respondent, who is classed as a vulnerable individual and is currently self-isolating, said: “I started painting in January as a New Year’s Resolution and I am glad I did. I’ve never spent so much time at home and having my hobby is keeping me busy and energetic. I dare say this period of isolation may keep me interested in painting for longer, as I’ve never had so much time to practice. Although it is a troubling time, there are positives and we must focus on them.”

What are some hobbies that you can try whilst self-isolating?

•Baking

•Painting

•Drawing

•Dancing

•Yoga

•Knitting

•Reading

A study conducted by Harvard Medical School’s Mind and Body Institute, found that “knitting lowers heart rate, by an average of 11 beats per minute, and induces an enhanced state of calm”.

Stitch & Story was founded in 2012 as a knitting supplies retailer is now one of the largest within the industry. They promise everyone the ability to learn how to knit or crochet without stress through their all-in-one knits, that contain everything a beginner needs to learn basic techniques.

In September last year, the business successfully secure VC funding and is also part of The Department for International Trade’s ‘Exporting is GREAT campaign’ after launching an store in the US. This has gone from strength-to-strength and they now make up 42 per cent of their revenue from international orders.

Have YOU taken up or developed an interesting hobby during lockdown? Share your story by emailing hector.mackenzie@hnmedia.co.uk


Do you want to respond to this article? If so, click here to submit your thoughts and they may be published in print.


Keep up-to-date with important news from your community, and access exclusive, subscriber only content online. Read a copy of your favourite newspaper on any device via the brand new HNM App.

Learn more


This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More