Since the explosion of fidget spinner popularity this year, there have been some claims that promote health benefits from playing with fidgets. Some claims suggest that kids and even grownups with ADHD, Autism or Anxiety show signs of health improvement.* You’ve probably noticed the asterisk at the end of previous sentence for the right reason; there is no scientific proof that fidgets can be used as treatment to previously mentioned illnesses. So, is claiming health benefits a marketing ploy in order to sell more toys?
Let us step back and think of the moments when we subconsciously decided to pick up a random object in order to occupy our time with some form of interaction. Maybe a pen, a ring, a lighter, a toy and all in effort to feel something physical. This type of reaction typically occurs when our brain decides that our self-awareness should be distracted with some other physical presence in order to stop or provide an activity. I could argue that this type of action has helped me calm down or even concentrate on tasks before me.
Even drug companies have to be super careful in making health benefit claims; or else they could open themselves to law suits. Just because my personal experience suggests that fidgeting helps me concentrate it does not prove any prolonged health benefits. This of course can be studied extensively and I suspect would take many years to arrive with concrete conclusion. Such studies may include specific age groups, current health status, and type of illness.
So, why are fidget spinners so popular? It all starts with social media and having gone viral accompanied with simplicity of the product. Yes, marketing plays a huge part as well, but not until social media creators took it upon themselves to spread the viral factor, followed by famous websites that realized how popular this topic is. An obvious example is mention of youtube as the massive contributor of obsession and influence, especially to your children.
Again, would claiming health benefits be a marketing ploy? Definitely!
If you happen to question the lack of scientific evidence, you could take the route of conspiracy theory and suggest that drug companies who sell medication for ADHD, Autism and Anxiety are purposely trying to suppress any such study or even discredit them; however, CosmicNovo can only talk facts. In the meantime I will enjoy playing with random things I find on my desk…
disclaimer; this article does not suggest that any company who makes fidgets is claiming health benefit in order to sell products.