53% of BlackBerry users check email on loo

Portable email devices such as the BlackBerry make it easier to check your email anywhere, anytime

Disturbing statistics of the day: 53 per cent of people with portable email devices like BlackBerrys check their email in the bathroom. Some 59 per cent check in bed, in their pyjamas; 37 per cent while they're driving; and 12 per cent admit to checking their email in church.

That's according to AOL's third annual 'Email Addition' survey . It suggests that 83 per cent of US email users check their inbox during their holidays. And more Americans than ever before are using portable devices to keep tabs on their email throughout the day and night, from virtually anywhere.

"Email is becoming more and more accessible, and people continue to take advantage of that," said Regina Lewis, an AOL online consumer advisor. "As the survey data shows, portable devices - like email itself - are becoming more prevalent and easier to use.

"Because you can access email services from virtually anywhere and on almost any wireless device, it is easier to stay connected to work, home, family and friends through email - and instant messaging as well - than any other form of communication."

Checking email around the clock

AOL measured email usage by talking to 4,025 respondents aged 13 and above in 20 cities around the US. The survey showed that email use on portable devices has nearly doubled since 2004, with people now checking their email around the clock.

The average email user checks their email about five times a day, and 59 per cent of those with portable devices use them to check email every time a new message arrives. Some 43 per cent of email users with portable devices say they keep the device nearby when they are sleeping to listen for incoming mail.

With or without portable devices, 15 per cent of Americans describe themselves as 'addicted to email', and many are even planning their holidays with email access in mind. About four in ten email users say it is 'very' or 'somewhat' important to them to think about email accessibility when they are planning a holiday. And 83 per cent of email users admit to checking their mail once a day while actually on holiday.