This is the most relaxing hobby to take up this year, according to this study

Because we all need a bit of downtime right now...

(Image credit: Getty Images)

It's been a stressful year - there's no doubt about that.

So now, many of us are turning to activities in our down time that can help to soothe our frazzled souls, and calm our anxious minds.

While some of us might enjoy adoring our abodes with beautiful plants, or visiting the beauty salon for a bit of relaxation, some of us bit want to turn to a hobby we can do in the comfort of our own living rooms. So why not combine the need for a bit of de-stressing with picking up a new skill? have actually conducted a survey in collaboration with Fitbit (one of the best fitness trackers on the market), to decipher which hobbies most reduce our stress levels.

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Studying around 2,379 people, they worked out which hobbies are most likely to bring our heart rates down. So which activity came out top?

The most relaxing hobby may not come as a surprise to some - according to, it is knitting that the majority of participants found most relaxing, according to the Fitbit measuring their heart rate.

relaxing hobby

It was found that, within the study, knittinglowered the subject's resting heart rates by 18.75%, with many recording 65 beats per minute.

Next on the list was an outdoor pursuit - fishing, which saw the average heart rate at just 72 beats per minute. Blogging and calligraphy came in at third and fourth, while painting was in fifth.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, a collection of high-intensity cardio exercises came in at the bottom of the list as least relaxing - including hiking (see our collection of the best walking shoes for women here), running and biking, the latter of which saw heart rates raise to 175 beats per minute. However, this makes a lot of sense given how much you exert yourself during these activities - and many people report a relaxed high after these sports too, which is worth bearing in mind.

The full list of most relaxing activities is:

  • Knitting
  • Fishing
  • Blogging
  • Calligraphy
  • Painting
  • Candle making
  • Flower arranging
  • Photography
  • Baking
  • Pottery
  • Cooking
  • Playing an instrument
  • Golf
  • Tai Chi
  • Yoga
  • Gardening
  • DIY
  • Hiking
  • Running
  • Biking

So will you be taking up any of these zen hobbies?

Amy Hunt

Amy Hunt is an experienced digital journalist specialising in homes, interiors and hobbies. She began her career working as the features assistant at woman&home magazine, before moving over to the digital side of the brand where she eventually became the Lifestyle Editor up until January 2022. Amy won the Digital Journalist of the Year award at the AOP Awards in 2019 for her work on