A fidget spinner is a type of toy, whose marketers claim it relieves stress. A basic fidget spinner consists of a bearing in the center of a design made from any of a variety of materials including brass, stainless steel, titanium, copper and plastic. The toy has been advertised as helping people who have trouble with focusing or fidgeting (such as those with ADHD, autism, or anxiety) by acting as a release mechanism for nervous energy or psychological stress. Experts were divided on this claim, with some supporting it while others disputed its scientific basis and argued the toy may actually be more distracting.
Although they were invented in the 1990s, fidget spinners became popular toys in 2017. Often marketed with claims of health benefits, the toy began being used by school children, resulting in some schools banning the spinners, arguing that the toy became a distraction in classrooms. Other schools are allowing the toy to be used discreetly by children, presumably to help them concentrate.