The NY Times just published a report on people who knit during meetings, starting with the question, “Is it rude to knit at work?”
They present both sides: “Knitters say it isn’t the same as sneaking a phone under the camera or scrolling the internet. Knitting, they say, sharpens their attention, allowing them to focus more than they would with idle hands.”
They bring in expert opinions!
The fine-motor movement required for knitting, crocheting, doodling or using a fidget spinner activates the same parts of the brain used for focus, said John Ratey, an associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. So, these activities really do help to sharpen awareness. But other activities that require too much concentration, like reading a social media feed or playing a game on a smartphone, can push a person out of productivity and into unfocused multitasking.
“Being involved with something will make a person with flagging attention be more attentive,” Dr. Ratey said. “You will turn on the prefrontal cortex if you’re doing something like knitting.”
We reach no definitive conclusion, but knitting during Zoom calls is probably ok, depending on your workplace. Whew!