Can Participating in DIY Activities Improve Wellbeing?
With so many television programs and social media sites decided to hobbies, crafts and “do-it-yourself” activities, there is no denying that the DIY or “Maker” movement continues to gain momentum. While many people report that they enjoy participating is such activities but there is less scientific research on if participating in these kinds of activities ultimately increase quality of life.
One aim of a recent study explores the self-identify of “Makers” and if Maker activities create an immediate or long-term benefit in life. In the study, participants were given a list with 18 activities that were later grouped into 3 categories: Domestic Activities (scrapbooking, baking, cooking, gardening; fishing/hunting); DIY (woodworking, electronics, fixing mechanical, metal work); and Arts and Crafts (photography/films/movies; quilting; drawing/painting; sewing; Making jewelry; knitting/crocheting; ceramics; computer graphics/web design). Participants answered questions related to how and when they engaged with the activities, the reasons for participating the activities, the extent to which each activity was considered arousing or activating, the extent to which each activity induced a type of positive mood. The participants also answered questions about their psychosocial characteristics such as the tendency to ruminate after stressful events, self-focus (using the Quiet Ego Scale), subjective wellbeing and positive and negative affect.
The results showed that the Maker identity was significantly associated with enhanced SWB and higher positive mood scores and higher QES scores. According to the authors, high QES scores reflect preferences for valuing the well-being of others as well as for the self, personal growth, empathy, and an ability to live in the moment without judgment. For the individual Maker activities, the highest positive mood scores were reported for baking, photography/films/movies, cooking, drawing/painting, ceramics, fishing/hunting, and knitting/crocheting.
While the sample for this study was predominately female college students, it does shed light on some opportunities for future research on how hobbies, maker and DIY actives may promote personal wellbeing.
What type of activities do you participate in that you find rewarding, enjoyable, or fulfilling? We would love to hear your thoughts.
Collier, A. and Wayment, H. (2017). Psychological Benefits of the “Maker” or Do-It-Yourself Movement in Young Adults: A Pathway Towards Subjective Well-Being. Journal of Happiness Studies, 19(4), pp.1217-1239.