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The hobbies that boost IQ by 10%

·2-min read
Young woman lying on multicolor Background.Studio Shot
Is it time for you to take up a new hobby? Image: Getty

People looking to boost their intellect should consider taking up knitting, or start learning a new instrument, according to a study of more than 4,000 people.

IQ tests measure skills like logic, cognitive reasoning and problem-solving, and according to VeryWellMind, an IQ test score of 100 is around average.

Most people fall within 85 and 115, and those with an IQ of 130 above are considered to have very high IQs.

Online DIY community commissioned a study on the effects of different hobbies on people’s IQs over six months and found that some activities like learning a new instrument or knitting can boost IQs by nearly 10 per cent, based on IQ tests sat before and six months after taking up the hobby.

How do some activities boost IQ?

When we play music, certain parts of our brains are stimulated to use our hands and memorise the notes, as well as hear the music.

Because musicians do these things simultaneously, analytical skills, creativity, memory and motor skills are all activated. According to research by the University of Zurich, learning to play an instrument can boost our IQ even for people 65 and over.

A study from San Francisco State University also found that those who had creative hobbies including knitting, gardening and photography performed better at work, with those who knit doing between 15-30 per cent better than others.

Exercising, reading and practising meditation also boost IQs by up to 7 per cent, while learning a new language also improves our IQ.

Here’s the full list of IQ-boosting hobbies


“This year has challenged many of us physically, mentally and emotionally and so the surge of starting a new hobby comes as no surprise,” said Stefan Gheorghe from

“Participating in a new activity is a practical way of helping our mental health, especially if we are cooped up in our homes for a long period of time.

“As the study shows, arts and crafts among other mobility-training activities can improve our moods alongside developing our cognitive skills.

“Without realising, these activities are improving our emotional well-being as well as making us smarter.”

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