Fidgeting is the act of moving about restlessly. Fidgeting may be a result of nervousness, agitation, boredom or a combination of these. It may be a result of genes and is often an unconscious act. Fidgeting may involve playing with one's fingers, hair, or items of clothing. A common act of fidgeting is to bounce one's leg repeatedly. Rings are another common focus of fidgeting; variations include ring spinning, twirling or rolling along a table. Research has shown people who fidget are generally slimmer and find it harder to put on weight. Parents often consider fidgeting to be a bad habit, especially in schoolchildren.
Research by Dr. Karen Pine and colleagues at the University of Hertfordshire funded by The Economic and Social Research Council found that children that were allowed to fidget with their hands performed better in memory and learning tests.
Fidgeting is considered a nervous habit, though it does have some underlying benefits. People who fidget regularly tend to weigh less than people who do not fidget because they burn more calories than those who remain still. It has been reported that fidgeting burns around an extra 350 calories a day.  On the other hand, people with heightened T4 levels (for example people with hyperthyroidism), also tend to fidget more than average. Other clinical hallmarks of hyperthyroidism are increased cell metabolism and reduced food intake. Therefore, fidgeting may not be the cause of weight loss in certain persons, but can be a symptom of hyperthyroidism. It is an unconscious act. Most people who fidget don't realize they are doing it.
- "Bad Habits and Fidgeting At School". Pediatrics.about.com. Retrieved 2009-10-02.
- Stein, Rob (2005-01-28). "Fidgeting Helps Separate the Lean From the Obese, Study Finds". washingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2009-10-02.
- "UK | Education | Fidgeting children 'learn more'". BBC News. 2005-04-12. Retrieved 2009-10-02.
- Stein, Rob. "Fidgeting Helps Separate the Lean from the Obese, Study Finds". Washington Post. Retrieved 2 October 2011.
- Pfaff, Donald (2004). Principles of Hormone Behavior relations. Elsevier Academic Press. p. 26.
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