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Facebook just a healthier smoke break, says iPass

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Just how ubiquitous have smartphones become among mobile workers? According to the latest quarterly Mobile Workforce Report from iPass, (s ipas) 95 percent of mobile workers have one.

That will come as no surprise to plugged-in professionals who have taken a look around at their colleagues lately (though the finding that, for the first time, iPhones have unseated BlackBerry devices (s rimm) as the top choice for respondents may come as happy news to Apple (s aapl) fans), but what impact is this near-universal adoption of smartphones having on knowledge workers’ lives?

In one sense, the impact is grim. The survey of 2,300 mobile employees worldwide found that many are giving up exercising and sleep in favor of a constant connection to work.

  • One in three respondents told iPass they sleep less due to work, with one in four mobile workers reporting less than six hours of shut eye a night
  • More than half exercise erratically or not all, and 60 percent of the loafers blamed work for their sedentary lifestyle

We’re also emotionally dependent on our gadgets; 59 percent of plugged in workers said they’d be disoriented, lonely or even distraught without their smarthphone.

But one thing smartphones aren’t guilty of, surprisingly, is being a major time suck. We waste only about as much time checking emailing and Facebook and handling technical hiccups than we used to spend on cigarette breaks when that was the most common office addiction: a measly 28 minutes a day.

So in the one column, we’re filling our lungs with fewer toxic chemicals and getting massive amounts of stuff done. But in the other, the new way of working means little sleep and next to no exercise.

Are we better off?

Image courtesy of Flickr user shnnn.

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