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Fidgeting is making small movements with your body, usually your hands and feet. It's associated with not paying attention.

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Fidgeting is moving about restlessly or the behavior of being continually in motion.

Alternative Names

Fidgets, fidgety


Fidgeting is usually used to describe someone who can’t sit still. Fidgety people move in their seats constantly, move their hands and feet, and appear to be in constant motion. Fidgeting in children is sometimes a sign of hyperactivity or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but it’s not always a bad thing.

Some people have a genetic predisposition to fidget. They are restless and move around constantly. Some obese people have a genetic predisposition to be energy efficient and are naturally inclined to conserve energy.

Associated Diagnoses

  • attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • obsessive compulsive disorder
  • schizophrenia
  • panic attack
  • post-partum depression
  • adjustment disorder
  • alcohol withdrawal
  • caffeine overdose
  • delirium
  • dementia
  • general anxiety disorder
  • post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)


Treatment includes assessing and treating the underlying condition. This sometimes includes providing:

  • a stimulating environment
  • plenty of exercise
  • good nutrition
  • adequate sleep

Call Your Doctor

Call a doctor if fidgeting becomes agitation and is accompanied by emotional distress.

Written by: Emma Nicholls
Edited by:
Medically Reviewed by:
Published: Dec 17, 2014
Published By: Healthline Networks, Inc.
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