Free Guide: How Fidgets Improve Student Behavior & Focus
Research has shown that movement, namely fidgeting, improves executive functions, allowing people with ADHD to focus, learn, and remember more. Here are fidgets we love for school and work.
For a child with ADHD, trying to focus intently on a dry math lecture is not unlike stabbing small needles in his eyes. It hurts. Yet that same child may be able to hyperfocus for hours on a video game or comic book that grabs his attention.
“People who think ADHD means having a short attention span misunderstand what ADHD is,” says Kathleen Nadeau, Ph.D. “A better way to look at it is that people with ADHD have a disregulated attention system.”
“Like distractibility, hyperfocus is thought to result from abnormally low levels of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that is particularly active in the brain’s frontal lobes,” says Royce Flippin, co-author of The Diabetes Reset. “This dopamine deficiency makes it hard to ‘shift-gears’ to take up boring-but-necessary tasks.”
When insufficient dopamine hampers focus, there are tools designed to help people with ADHD tune into the things that aren’t naturally interesting (read: schoolwork). These tools — also called fidgets — help to balance levels of dopamine and norepinephrine, both of which regulate attention in the arousal center of the brain.