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Restless leg syndrome: it’s more common than you think

Sophomore+Grace+Tally+discusses+her+curiosity+on+the+shaking+of+legs.
Sophomore Grace Tally discusses her curiosity on the shaking of legs.

Sophomore Grace Tally discusses her curiosity on the shaking of legs.

Trinity Norwood

Trinity Norwood

Sophomore Grace Tally discusses her curiosity on the shaking of legs.

Grace Tally, Writer

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For about a month now, I have been obsessing over people shaking their legs. I know that I shake my leg every single day, and every time I look around my classroom, there are at least three people moving their legs around as well. I’ve noticed people move their legs differently, some cross their legs and shake, rock their foot side to side, shake one leg, and some even shake both. Why do we shake our legs? Is it because we all have an underlining of anxiety? Boredom? Stress? I’ve been going around asking just about everyone I see if they shake their legs, and I’ve only received one “no.”

Something I’ve also found out is that most people don’t even realize they are moving their leg; it just happens naturally. I’ve asked peers why they think they shake their legs, and their answers seemed to correlate with anxiety.

”I shake my leg when I am bored or nervous,” junior Trinity Norwood said. ”It’s almost like it relieves my anxiety, and makes me feel better.”

When I stop moving my leg, it’s almost like it hurts. It’s like a competition to beat my last record of how long I shook my leg before, I need to have the rhythmic beating happening, or I can’t concentrate. So does shaking my leg send out this giant sign to everyone that I’m anxious even when I’m not? Or maybe because I think about it so much, and it’s making me do it more? Maybe this is just a bad habit I’ve developed over the years from watching others do it.

As I became more curious, I came across something called ”Restless Leg Syndrome,” which is an uncomfortable sensation people feel in their legs when they don’t move. However, I am not a doctor and cannot diagnose myself. I doubt that every person I see shaking their legs have this syndrome.

There are other many different types of fidgeting, in 2017 when fidget spinners were all the rage, almost everyone had them. These however, did not always end up being used for their original purpose; to help people concentrate in a less obvious way. Instead they became toys and internet sensations. They eventually got banned at most schools for being distracting. Another popular fidget toy was the ”Fidget Cube,” which has six sides with each side having something different to fidget with. I happened to have a Fidget Cube for a while and it was surprisingly addictive. After a while I felt lost without it, so losing it was for the better.

Some articles I’ve read say that fidgeting is all about releasing anxiety. In our world today, things are constantly going on that cause more and more anxiety. So does that mean if people stop stressing, their legs will stop shaking? When I think about it on a personal level, I do shake my leg often, and I would say I’m not a terribly anxious person. I don’t doubt that some people are anxious when they shake their legs. I am choosing to believe that for me, it’s just something fun that is relaxing, a sign of my focus, sometimes nerves, and just a way to help time stop standing still.

I’ve gone my whole life shaking my leg and never wondering why I do it. This has been a fulfilling journey for me that I still have many questions. I hope I will get the answers to these questions one day. So to all the other leg shakers out there, shake one.

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1 Comment

One Response to “Restless leg syndrome: it’s more common than you think”

  1. Brice Sylestine on May 12th, 2018 9:36 pm

    I don’t know why, but this story was very interesting. I Like it.

    [Reply]

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Restless leg syndrome: it’s more common than you think