Do you often find your hand drifting towards your cell phone as if it was a bowl of salted cashews? If so, you’re not alone.

According to a recent Palm Canada/Leger Marketing study, tech-savvy ‘30-to-50-somethings’ are active consumers of wireless entertainment, grabbing quick nibbles of fun time during those ‘whenever’ minutes throughout a hectic work day – what’s referred to as ‘mobile snacking’.

“As on-the-go Canadians consume content in bite-size, easy-to-digest portions, mobile snacking is becoming more mainstream,” says Michael Moskowitz, vice president, Americas International, Palm, Inc. “From news alerts to watching videos to sending emails, downloading information is becoming as common as downing a granola bar.”

So how addicted to our mobile devices are we?

The survey found the following:

– 76 per cent check email outside their work day;

– 60 per cent admit to being “always on”;

– 58 per cent check email/voicemail before going to bed at night;

– 37 per cent confess to doing work while attending a social or family engagement; and,

– 27 per cent have responded to email during dinner.

More than half of Canadian professionals polled rely on technologies such as cell phones and PDAs for keeping them connected at work, and one in five say they rely on an “all-in-one” device such as a smartphone to balance their social and professional lives.

Trends such as mobile snacking appear to be the result of working extended hours and adopting mobile lifestyles. Working beyond the traditional 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. workday is not uncommon for Canadians; over a quarter surveyed admitted to working 10 hours a day or more.

And while 71 per cent of those surveyed say that technology helps them get and stay ahead in their careers, it isn’t all about email. Almost half also use PDAs, cell phones and laptops to unwind in their leisure time.

In fact, 44 per cent of people surveyed use their mobile device to listen to MP3s, one in five are checking out videos, and one in ten even admit to checking updates on social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace. 071913