IGNIS Summer 2017 - Page 11

that fidgeting while sitting or standing increases the number of calories you burn off in the day. Anywhere between 100- 350 calories a day can be lost through constant fidgeting, so fidgeting could also be nature’s way to help you maintain your weight! Why then, if fidgeting relieves stress, improves attention and helps some people cope better, are fidget toys being banned in schools? Some schools recognise the value of fidget toys; that the tactile input of fidget toys, putty and sensory balls can be calming or promote focus and concentration. Some primary schools even start the day with fidget toys on the tables, helping children to strengthen their hands and readying fingers for fine motor skill tasks and handwriting. The days of kids taking bits of blu-tack off the back of posters in school as handy stress toys are gradually being replaced with the sensation of using approved tins of putty. The annoying tap, tap of fingers on the table is being soothed by touching a fidget cube. However, while fidgeting is a good regulatory mechanism for those with attention and anxiety issues, the majority of students don’t need to fidget that much to remain focused on their school work. Too much fidgeting gives the impression of not paying attention, being bored, frustrated, impatient and being hyperactive. Within the classroom fidget toys can be a major distraction for both the student playing with them and other pupils around them. It’s therefore not really surprising that teachers are banning them. So, will you give into fidgeting? While once fidgeting was socially frowned upon, the rise of the fidget toy may finally make a certain amount of fidgeting both acceptable and approved. If you find fidgeting calming or stimulating maybe it is time to invest in a fidget gadget or two, or better still, in this fledgling world of fidget toys, to invent a fidget gadget or two yourself! IGNIS 11