The Need to Fidget


A man using a fidget cube Photo Credit: Flickr

Emilie Doumbouya, Copyright

Tapping the desk, clicking your pen repeatedly or tapping your feet. Whether it’s nerves or boredom, fidgeting provides a way to relieve your excess energy. 

Fidgeting is a common habit that most of us have experienced at some point or another. It refers to the small movements we make with our hands and feet without thinking about it. This could include the aforementioned and so on. 

Fidgeting is believed to be a physical reaction to stress or concentration. In fact, it may allow your brain to concentrate on a difficult task longer. It may also be a response to a stressful situation, such as speaking in front of a crowd. 

It can also be a symptom of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or restless legs syndrome. Fidgeting is sometimes associated with fidget spinners, small hand-held toys. It’s also important to remember that not all fidgeting is negative and these behaviors may have some health benefits. Because fidgeting is often a subconscious habit, it may not be possible to completely eliminate it from your life. 

Sophomore, Isabella Solano talks about how she typically fidgets and doesn’t even notice it. 

“I tend to fidget with my fingers a lot,” said Solano. “It’s just a bad habit that I had ever since I was young.” 

It’s also worth noting that not all fidgeting is harmful, and that these behaviors may have some health benefits. 

According to, “fidgeting can increase your psychological arousal and help you feel more alert. Fidgeting may even be able to reverse some of the negative health effects of sitting. Long periods of sitting are known to reduce blood flow to the legs, increasing the risk of high blood pressure (hypertension) and hardening of the blood vessel walls (atherosclerosis). A 2016 study discovered that fidgeting with your legs and feet while sitting improves blood vessel function and increases blood flow to the legs.” 

If you tend to fidget, you may find the habit frustrating because others may interpret your fidgeting as a lack of attention, you may have experienced negative outcomes because of it, but remember fidgeting doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a problem. It’s just your body’s way of trying to stay focused.