Fidgeting Strategies That Help People With ADHD Focus

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) affects millions of people worldwide, and it can be quite challenging to manage. One of the most common symptoms of ADHD is the inability to focus and concentrate for extended periods. Fidgeting can be a beneficial strategy to manage this symptom, helping those with ADHD to concentrate better and stay on task. In this article, we explore some fidgeting strategies that can help people with ADHD focus.

What is ADHD?

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects people’s executive functions, which are abilities that enable individuals to plan, organize, and control their actions. People with ADHD may also have difficulty with time management, impulse control, and attention span.

While the exact cause of ADHD is unknown, research suggests that it could be due to a combination of genetic, environmental, and neurological factors. The symptoms of ADHD are usually managed through a combination of medication, therapy, and lifestyle changes.

What is Fidgeting?

Fidgeting is the act of moving or manipulating objects while working or taking part in an activity. Fidgeting can help reduce restlessness, anxiety, and boredom, which are common challenges for people with ADHD. Fidgeting can also help stimulate the brain and improve focus and concentration.

Top Fidgeting Strategies for People with ADHD

1. Stress Balls and Hand Grippers

Squeezing a stress ball or using a hand gripper can have a calming effect that helps people with ADHD manage their restlessness and anxiety. These objects can be used discreetly and can be kept in a pocket or a bag for easy access.

2. Tangle Toys

Tangle toys are small, textured fidget toys that can be twisted and turned in different ways. They are ideal for people with ADHD who need to keep their hands occupied while sitting or standing for extended periods. Tangle toys can also help improve fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.

3. Desk Toys

Desk toys, such as Newton’s cradle or a small Rubik’s cube, can be great fidgeting tools for people with ADHD who work at a desk. These toys provide a low-key distraction that can help stimulate the mind and promote focus and concentration.

4. Fidget Spinners

Fidget spinners became popular a few years ago, and they are still a popular fidgeting tool for people with ADHD. The spinning motion of the spinner can be calming and can also help improve hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.

5. Chewable Jewellery

Chewable jewellery, such as necklaces and bracelets, can be a discreet fidgeting tool for people with ADHD who need to chew or bite something to manage their restlessness. Chewable jewellery is also beneficial for people who struggle with sensory issues.

6. Exercise Balls and Treadmills

Exercise balls and treadmills can be excellent fidgeting strategies for people who struggle with restlessness and focus when seated. Using an exercise ball as a chair or standing on a treadmill desk can provide a low-key way of keeping the body and mind active while working.

Benefits of Fidgeting for People with ADHD

– Improves focus and concentration
– Reduces restlessness and anxiety
– Helps stimulate the mind
– Improves hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills
– Provides sensory input for those who struggle with sensory issues


ADHD can be challenging to manage, but with the right strategies and tools, people with ADHD can successfully manage their symptoms. Fidgeting is an effective and beneficial tool for people with ADHD, helping them manage restlessness and anxiety and improve their focus and concentration. While there are many different fidgeting strategies available, it is essential to find the one that works best for you.

If you or someone you know struggles with ADHD, try incorporating some of the fidgeting strategies discussed in this article into your daily routine to help improve focus and concentration. With persistence and perseverance, managing ADHD symptoms can become more comfortable, and individuals can enjoy a more productive and fulfilling life.


FAQs: Fidgeting Strategies That Help People with ADHD Focus

1. What are some fidgeting strategies that can help people with ADHD focus?

Some of the fidgeting strategies that have been found to help people with ADHD focus are using stress balls, fidget spinners, chewing gum, doodling, tapping or clicking a pen, and taking short breaks for physical movement, such as stretching or walking.

2. How do fidgeting strategies help people with ADHD focus?

Fidgeting strategies help people with ADHD focus by providing a sensory outlet for their restlessness and increasing their body’s stimulation, enabling them to shift their attention from distractions to their main task. Fidgeting also helps to improve concentration, reduce impulsivity, and enhance cognitive performance.

3. Are fidgeting strategies helpful for everyone with ADHD?

Fidgeting strategies may not work for everyone with ADHD as each person’s symptoms and needs are unique. Additionally, some teachers or workplaces may not allow certain fidgeting tools or behaviour. Therefore, it is essential to consult with a healthcare professional or ADHD specialist to determine which fidgeting strategies may be most beneficial to you or your loved one with ADHD.


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2. Tucha, L., Fuermaier, A. B., Koerts, J., Groen, Y., Thome, J., & Lange, K. W. (2016). Fidgeting in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Attention deficit and hyperactivity disorders, 8(1), 29-34.
3. Rapport, M. D., Orban, S. A., Kofler, M. J., & Friedman, L. M. (2013). Do programs designed to train working memory, other executive functions, and attention benefit children with ADHD? A meta-analytic review of cognitive, academic, and behavioral outcomes. Clinical Psychology Review, 33(8), 1237-1252.