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Playing with Phones Replacing Doodling and Other Idle Behavior

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The adage “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop” may soon lose all meaning because a new survey shows our hands are almost never idle -- we’re always playing with our phones.

A new British survey finds that 52 percent of the respondents turn to their phone if they have "downtime," rather than sit and think.  The figure increases to 62 percent among 18- to 30-year-olds.

Thirty-seven percent check their phone if there is a lull in conversation with friends.

The survey by the Internet Advertising Bureau is based on 700 hours of video footage from consumers wearing FishEye cameras.  They took a picture every five seconds over a three-day period.

According to the survey, the average person in the U.K. uses some form of Internet-connected device 34 times a day.

Those who took part in the study average a total of two hours and 12 minutes a day using a connected device, such as a mobile phone, laptop or tablet.  Forty-six percent of the time, they were using at least two devices, and sometimes three, simultaneously.

Dr. Simon Hampton, a lecturer in psychology at the University of East Anglia, says, “People's inability to leave their phones alone is the newest addition to common displacement behaviors such as smoking, doodling, fiddling with objects and picking at food.”

The IAB poll of 1,377 U.K. adults was conducted in September.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio