Can Fidgeting Help You Write?

I fidget a lot. It’s triggered by a combination of an overactive imagination and anxiety. Anything is fair game to be fiddled with – pens, necklaces, buttons, watch straps, as well as just generally shifting about, no matter if I’m sitting or standing. But can fidgeting help you write?

Science would say…maybe. Some research has shown that fidgeting, or rather using your hands as well as your brain, can help you to think. And equally, some studies have shown the opposite. So it’s not exactly conclusive.

Stimulation for mind and body?

There’s a more definitively measured physical effect from fidgeting though. Studies have shown that fidgeting when you’re sitting actually burns calories. In fact, you can burn up to 28% more calories when you fidget whilst sitting (as opposed to lying still). That could be between 100 to 800 calories used up without really trying. As writers, we do a lot of sitting, so if it might help our wellbeing and doesn’t involve a big investment, it’s worth thinking about.

Try fidgeting with purpose

Enterprising folks started coming up with fidget toys years ago (like the fidget spinners in the featured image). This is my own toy, sometimes call a “Fidget Cube”. I like to call it, “a cat toy for humans”.

Image of Fidget Cube

It has a ‘light switch’, a swirly ball thing, some kind of joystick, more twiddly things, and little buttons that go click. All of these make me happy when I use them and probably annoy the crap out of anyone within earshot.

Whether they make me more productive is another matter. As I’ve mentioned at the start, for me anything and everything can be “fidgeted” with. But if you’re not a natural “fidgeter”, this kind of device could be a fun and inexpensive way to get try it and see what happens. Or annoy people with clicking sounds which is also fun!

What do you think? Are you a natural fidgeter and do you think it helps or hinders your writing? Please share in the comments.

Related reads

Why Exercise is good for a writer

Write every day

4 Writing Roadblocks and 4 Ways to Steamroll them!


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