Fidget Gadget To The Rescue
Fidgeting did not just start with this current craze for fidget spinners and cubes. Almost all of us have fidgeted at one time or another, some of us on a daily basis.
Perhaps you don’t even realize you are fidgeting until someone comments on the way you keep clicking your pen or flicking your elastic band.
What you probably do realize is that fidgeting helps you focus and stay centered and calm. It enables you to block out other thoughts and distractions so that you can achieve what you want to achieve, whether that is studying or working on that tricky report.
Fidgeting can also help in situations you find overwhelming or even frightening, especially if you are someone with additional needs such as ADHD, anxiety or autism.
With increasing numbers of people globally suffering with stress, depression and anxiety and rising diagnoses of recognised conditions in both adults and children comes the explosion of items designed to help us cope.
While those numbers continue to rise and outside pressures increase alongside them, it is clear that fidget toys are not a fad but rather an increasingly essential aid to leading a better, healthier, more productive life.
The problem for many of us is that we all need different environments in which to function optimally. Some of us thrive in busy, noisy environments while others need total silence in order to perform at their best.
Fidget spinners help us to fine tune our environment so that we can at least approximate the right conditions for us to function at our best.
If a classroom or office is, say, too noisy then having an item to hand that soothes our senses can make all the difference, enabling us to cope where we would not otherwise be able to.
Studies on stress balls, for example, have shown that:
‘…sixth graders who used these fidget toys during instruction independently reported that their “attitude, attention, writing abilities, and peer interaction improved.”’
With other studies ongoing, it is evident that the benefits of these fidget aids are significant enough to ensure their long-term use.
With that comes innovation and refinement as new toys and aids are developed and refined to meet different needs and responses.
As Katherine Isbister, Professor of Computational Media at the University of California Santa Cruz says:
“Fidget items do seem to serve a valuable purpose. There’s still science to be done, but they’re not just a fad. They embody an enduring phenomenon that nearly everyone uses at some point”
It is therefore safe to say that fidget toys will be with us for a long time to come as we realize we are only at the beginning of understanding their benefits and what they can do for so many of us.