Tops aren’t just children’s toys. They are a great little gadget for adults to have around, as well. Your desk, pocket, backpack, or end table are all fantastic places to keep a top in order to reap the many benefits of top spinning.
Here are 5 ways in which top spinning is good for both your body and mind.
1. Stress relief
Tops are wonderful stress relievers. They fit perfectly in the palm of your hand. They cause tension to be released as you hold them and launch them. In turn, this relieves stress. Most tops are small enough to keep in your pocket or purse and then pull them out when you feel stress coming on.
Why does a simple activity like top spinning relieve stress? When we’re stressed, our bodies actually tense up and physically clench. A small toy like a top or stress ball prompts you to release the tension in your muscles. It simultaneously can give you a quick break from whatever is stressing you out, allowing you to take a few deep breaths and reset.
2. Dexterity and fine motor skills
The muscles in our fingers and hands can become strained and even weak from daily overuse. We spend so much of our time typing, writing, or doing other everyday chores that are taxing on our hand muscles. Top spinning requires you to use grip strength and coordination as you launch the top.
Maximizing hand dexterity is important for anyone who performs complex actions with their hands, such as guitar players, artists, and massage therapists. Any movement that is repeated frequently over a long period of time can impair dexterity and decrease overall range of motion. A different movement than usual, such as spinning a top, can counteract this.
3. Knowledge and curiosity
Humans have always been fascinated with spin tops. We have the power to make them appear to defy gravity as they stand up straight, spinning for several minutes (or more!) in one go. Fascinating objects and movements in everyday life make us want to learn what causes them to act the way that they do. They make us want to wrap our brains around unintuitive or complex topics. Spinning tops keep us curious.
The motion of a spinning top is all about the physics. Tops have angular momentum that keeps them upright, even after they begin to slow down and wobble a bit. Having a basic understanding of the motion of a top, gyroscope, or other moving toy helps us to grasp more complex movements and motions that might come up in our future lives. Tops, then, are a way to keep our brains young.
Have you ever played with a small toy or object while you’re working and feel like it actually helps you concentrate on the task at hand?
Well, you’re probably right!
Research has confirmed what many of us have personally experienced by fidgeting. Our ability to problem-solve, recall items from memory, and pay attention are all improved with fidgeting. When you’re trying to focus on a task but your hands are busy doing something else, it can force your brain to increase effort on the task. Fidgeting is an outlet to expend excess energy that is holding us back from mentally-heavy work.
Spinning tops have an advantage here compared to other fidget toys: in order to watch them spin, you have to put them down. This frees up your hands to do the physical task, such as typing or writing, that you need to do along with your mental work.
Tops can be helpful for focus even for people who don’t consider themselves fidgeters. Top spinning or fiddling with another object provides a quick break from whatever you’re working on. We can all benefit from a brief mental break in order to avoid burnout.
5. Social interaction
Finally, having a spinning top lying around is sure to gain you some positive social interaction. Keeping a top on your desk at work, for instance, means that coworkers will probably stop by to say hello… and to give your top a spin. When people see a high-quality top spinning for a surprisingly long duration, they’ll want to stop to watch it, and they’ll probably strike up a conversation at the same time.
Nothing helps to break the ice like a simple, uncontroversial topic that both parties find interesting. Spinning tops are a great example of this.
Top enthusiasts may want to bring this social interaction one step further by joining groups or clubs geared toward toys, games, science, or hobbies. Shared interests help us to form lasting friendships and memories.
Top spinning has many benefits
This is not an exhaustive list! Top spinning may have different benefits for you. Perhaps it brings back happy memories from your childhood. Or it helps you bond with your students or customers. Or maybe it’s just plain fun for you.
The best way to learn what top spinning can do for you is to get one of your own to give it a try. Check out our selection of precision custom spinning tops in our top shop.