The toy was advertised to help people with concentration problems or those who fidget to alleviate nervous energy, anxiety, or psychological stress. It is believed that a fidget spinner will help to calm people with anxiety and other neurological disorders such as ADHD and autism.
A fidget spinner is a device consisting of a ball bearing in the middle of a multi-lobed (typically two or three) flat metal or plastic structure designed to spin with little effort along its axis. In 2017, fidget spinners became common toys, while similar devices were invented in 1993.
Science Behind The Fidget Spinner
Everyone is fidgeting… except perhaps for the guards in front of Buckingham Palace. You typically fidget many, many times a day, whether it’s scratching your hair, chewing your nails, playing with your clothes or spinning pens in your hands. Here is the reason why the fidget spinner has become the new kids and even adults gadget craze.
It’s called a fidget spinner because it’s capable of spinning and encourages you to do what you normally try not to do. The toy looks like a cross between a ceiling fan and a three-headed electric shaver’s head. This video from Buzzfeed demonstrates how you can position it between your fingers and rotate it to hold your hands:
As you can see, when spinning, the fidget spinner isn’t really the most complex of devices, though it gives a whirling tone. And fidgeting is certainly not new behavior for human beings. Find someone who’s not at all fidgeting and you’ve probably found someone who’s got Botox full-body. Hence the price premium of the fidget spinner ($15 on online stores) Nonetheless, some retailers have suggested that the fidget spinner has health benefits such as stress relief, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) anxiety and attention deficit. How real are the claims?
Standardizing a need for fidget
One anecdotal advantage of fidget spinners is that it normalizes many activities that many children find difficult to stop, particularly those on the autism spectrum, but also not replicated in the community by other children.
For fidget spinners, the need to avoid fidgeting is seen as something that separates these kids and makes them feel “special” and something that everyone doing a phenomenon they’re in, providing social support to many who only try to fit in with their peers.
A Word From Verywell
Whatever you decide on fidget spinners and other hand-focused stress relievers may help you create patterns that can reduce chronic stress by simply focusing on stress relief. And in the end, many items can be helpful if they bring relief from stress to you personally.
You may not eliminate the need for counseling if you have an anxiety disorder or PTSD, but all the stress relief is beneficial.