Creative Wellness Blog

Craft to Heal and the 11 Health Benefits of Woodworking

Photo courtesy of The Center for Wooden Boats.


The art of woodworking has been around for decades. This pastime can produce beautiful results if the person is skilled, and more and more people are getting interested again. You can make a variety of projects from larger tables to smaller carvings. The more you work at this craft, the better you’ll be. There are also several health benefits that come along with dedicating yourself to woodworking.

Read on for 11 health benefits that you can achieve just by doing something you love.

1. It Reduces Anxiety and Stress

Once you go out and begin your woodworking project, the anxiety and stress of the day just seem to fall away. You can immerse yourself in your task, and if you enjoy doing it, you’ll slowly relax.

2. It Improves Mental Sharpness

When it comes to woodworking, you have to be mentally sharp to stay on task and concentrate on what you’re trying to accomplish. Since one mistake can derail an entire project, this requires your utmost concentration. You’ll also have to remember how to do things properly each time, and this will help you to stay mentally sharp.

3. It Boosts Your Mood

If you enjoy woodworking, your mood can improve each time you do it. Your brain will release serotonin, and this is the chemical that is responsible for being happy. The higher levels of serotonin that are in your body, the lower your risk of suffering from mood disorders like depression. Woodworking will also help to give you a sense of fulfillment once your project is completed.

4. It Helps You Build Muscle

Sitting all day isn’t the best thing for your health, and woodworking requires you to stand and move. You’ll also be doing a lot of lifting and shifting your projects around, and this will help to build your muscle mass. Plus, you’ll spend a lot of time on your feet developing your project and taking it to the finished product. Woodworking can also help you get into shape or stay physically fit simply because you’re up and moving around.

5. It Can Improve Your Math Skills

The art of woodworking is one that requires the person working on the projects to be exact. You’ll be doing a lot of measuring and cutting while you’re completing your project. The weight of the wood will factor into your project as well, and you’ll have to work out the math to get it right. You’ll have to have excellent math skills to make sure everything will fit correctly, and your finished product will look the way you want it to.

6. You’ll Learn Fine Motor Control

Woodworking will teach you fine motor control. You’ll need this type of control as you figure out how to nail thin or small nails into the wood without hitting your fingers. The more you practice woodworking, the better your fine motor skills will be. This is especially true for younger children and older adults who may be losing their fine motor skills from lack of use.

7. It Improves Communication and Language Abilities

If you’re working with someone else, communication will be a key piece of a successful project. Woodworking will teach you to communicate clearly. It will also teach you how to explain directions in a way that is understood, and you’ll be talking out a lot of problems. Once you start explaining your project to other people and giving them instructions, you can learn a whole new language and a new set of communication skills.

8. It Will Give You a New Skill Set

Speaking of skills, woodworking will introduce you to a whole new set of skills and tools. It’ll make your mind work to remember everything you learn. You’ll have to learn new things—like how to properly use woodworking tools such as a table saw, sanders, planers, and drill presses to name a few. You’ll be able to take your new skill set and apply it to other areas in your life as well.

9. It Helps to Improve Literacy

The process of woodworking is combined a lot of times with mark making. This means you’ll add drawn features onto your models for your project. If you’re teaching children, they may have to look up project information in books or online, and this will get them reading. The more they read, the better literacy rates they will develop over the course of the project.

10. It May Improve Your Cardiovascular Health

Since woodworking lowers your stress levels and it forces you to get up and move around or stand, it can improve your cardiovascular health. Stress is one of the main causes of heart-related issues such as a heart attack or stroke, and if you’re woodworking, you’ll have less stress overall. Since you’re improving your physical health at the same time, these two things will make your heart healthier.

11. It Enhances Your Creative Development

As soon as you get comfortable with woodworking, you’ll start to come up with projects on your own. This will require you to develop your creative skills. You’ll also have to come up with a way to solve any problems or issues that you may run into during a project. The more you practice woodworking, the more possibilities you’ll begin to see.

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Nancy Monson is a certified health and creativity coach who supports her clients to discover their healthier selves through personalized eating and exercise habits. She also speaks frequently on creativity, health, and diet topics. In addition, Nancy is a successful freelance writer. Her articles have been published in over 30 national magazines and newsletters, including Family Circle, Glamour, More, Reader’s Digest, Redbook, Shape,, Weight Watchers Magazine, and Woman’s Day. Nancy is the author of three consumer books: Creative Wellness, an ebook published in 2012; Craft to Heal: Soothing Your Soul with Sewing, Painting, and Other Crafts; and The Smart Guide to Boosting Your Energy, published by John Wiley and Sons in 1999.