Fidget Spinner Craze: Stop Selling Toys That Claim Health Benefits

Show this to everyone who tells you that fidget spinners help them concentrate. 

Updated
Health News
3 min read
(Photo: AP)

If you have an internet connection and ample time to waste, then you may have seen the new toy fad. The latest attraction on the cool kids’ block is the fidget spinner.

They’re meant for mindless play while you’re working or sitting in class. Remember spinning pens between your fingers in classrooms? Basically, someone figured out they could make money by inventing a whole new object for people to fidget with.

But here’s the catch. Look at this cat playing with the fidget spinner. Does it look like it can concentrate on work (read: being lazy)?

(GIF Courtesy: <a href="https://giphy.com/gifs/cat-cute-toy-53hoqKNt939w4/">giphy.com</a>)
(GIF Courtesy: giphy.com)

Sorry Fidget Spinner Fans, It’s Just a Toy

The problem lies in the devices being marketed as a solution for various psychological issues like stress, anxiety, ADHD and autism. The basic idea is that spinning the toy in one’s hands helps increase focus. But – as is too often the case – there’s little science to back these claims.

(Photo: Amazon Screengrab)
(Photo: Amazon Screengrab)

Speaking to The Quint, psychologist Dr Vandana Prakash said:

There has been no proof of any fidgeting device having any health benefits. How a person reduces stress or anxiety is an individual-based approach. Different things work for different people. One needs to be calm, only then you can focus and think straight.

As for issues more specific like ADHD and autism, these are tall claims with no scientific backing.

Using a gadget which is spinning like a mini ceiling fan in your hands is more likely to serve as a distraction than to actually benefit for individuals with ADHD.
Dr Vandana Prakash, Psychologist

So There’s No Research To Back The Benefits of Fidget Spinners?

There has been no research that studies the impact of fidget spinners on mental health or cognitive functioning. In fact, fidget spinners may actually be ruining your concentration. Several schools in the United States have banned fidget spinners from classrooms because teachers says kids are focusing more on the toy than on their work.

The inventor of the device, however, has said that the fidget spinners was meant to be a tool to keep kids out of trouble — not as a mental health aid or ADHD treatment.

Interestingly, the idea reportedly came out of a visit to Israel and watching children throw stones at police officers. The inventor said fidget spinners were “started as a way to promote peace.”

While the objective is laud worthy, the chances of the toys promoting peace seem even more remote than the chances of them helping to treat ADHD. It’s one thing to spin a pen in your hands or fiddle with a fidget cube, but rotating a mini ceiling fan in your hands is unlikely to help you focus on anything else.

But if you want to just have fun and join the craze, go pick up that toy right now. This video will help:

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