Fidget spinners are everywhere; every kid has them, and many adults use them, too.
Fidget spinners spin. That is really all they do, and all the kids are addicted to them. But maybe they’re not as pointless as they seem. Fidget spinners can be useful.
Although most of us have only heard about them recently, fidget spinners have been around for a long time.
What Are Fidget Spinners?
They’re everywhere, so it’s impossible to not know what a fidget spinner is.
It’s a small pocket-sized device that you hold between your fingertips. It has three round blades that rotate around a bearing in the center when you flick it.
Who Invented Fidget Spinners and Why?
Fidget spinners were invented by Catherine Hettinger, who came up with the idea of the fidget spinner in 1993, when she found herself unable to play with her 7-year-old daughter, Sara, because of her myasthenia gravis, an autoimmune disorder that causes muscle weakness.
Catherine’s design looked different from today’s fidget spinner. It was a circular device molded from a piece of plastic that would spin on top of your finger.
She patented her idea in 1997. She sold the spinner in art fairs and set up a meeting with Hasbro Inc. Hasbro soon decided not to make the deal after the market test was unsuccessful.
The patent’s renewal fee was $400 dollars and Catherine couldn’t afford it, so in 2005, eight years later, she stopped renewing the patent.
The invention never took off; that is, until 2017, twenty-four years after its creation.
Now you must be wondering:
If fidget spinners have been around for so long, why are you only hearing about them now?
Why Are Fidget Spinners So Popular and Addictive?
I’ll repeat, all fidget spinners do is spin. Sure, you can spin them on your nose or forehead, throw them around, and do other fidget-spinner tricks, but all the spinner is doing is spinning.
How can that be addicting?
Fidget spinners picked up popularity after Forbes declared it a must-have office toy in December 2016.
The reason behind its addictiveness could be the spinning’s hypnotic effect. Watching the fidget spinner spin can be soothing.
It also is a temporary distraction from dull or stressful work. It keeps your hands and eyes busy and gives your mind a break from work for a few minutes.
Fidget Spinner Benefits
Although there hasn’t been any research on the fidget spinner yet, fidgeting, in general, has its benefits.
Research has found that fidgeting reversed the negative effects of sitting for long periods of times. Fidgeting reduces the risk of all-cause mortality that comes with sitting for long times.
Fidgeting also positively affects cardiorespiratory fitness; that is, the fitness of your heart and lungs.
If that’s not enough to make you want to fidget, listen to this:
Fidgeting makes you skinnier. Fidgeting can burn up to 300 calories a day. You could actually lose weight by fidgeting alone.
Do Fidget Spinners Help You Focus?
The fidget spinner was originally marketed as a therapeutic device for children with ADHD and autism. It was said that it helps them focus.
Try finding an Amazon description that doesn’t say fidget spinners improve focus.
Go ahead, I’ll wait.
So far, there have been no studies proving that fidget spinners help you concentrate.
It is true that ADHD children are better at focusing when they are moving their hands or other body parts.
However, Mark Rapport, a clinical psychologist at the University of Central Florida, who has studied the benefits of movement on attention in people with ADHD, says that fidget spinners are more of a distraction for people with ADHD.
Fidgeting does improve focus. According to Roland Rotz and Sarah D. Wright, the authors of Fidget to Focus: Outwit Your Boredom: Sensory Strategies for Living with ADD, the additional sensory-motor input helps us focus.
But fidget spinners, along with all the tricks you can do with them, are distracting. Their movement and bright colors are distracting.
Fidget toys should be something you can use to busy your hands while completely focusing on the main task.
While fidget spinners are visually distracting, they can help you focus if you keep your eyes off them.
Many people have felt their focus and attention increase while using fidget spinners.
Just remember, what works for one person might not work for the next.
Make A DIY Fidget Spinner
With all that said, fidget spinners, whether they are toys or focusing tools, are everywhere. Don’t be the only person without one. You can buy one from Amazon or make your own.
You can make a fidget spinner with bottle caps. Here’s the tutorial:
Or you can make one out of cardboard:
Or you could put your old Legos to use and make a fidget spinner out of those: