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Checking their phone has become a priority for people. A new survey has found that 17 percent millennials reach for their smartphone during sex.

The US-based survey also found that 85 percent of people aged between 18 and 34 check their smartphone while using the toilet and 43 percent look at their phone while in the shower.

Such behaviour is far more common among this younger category of smartphone user than those aged 35 to 51 and 52 to 70, according to the survey, conducted by SureCall -- a company which produces devices to boost cell phone reception, technology website GearBrain reported on Thursday.

Although millennials were more likely to check their phone in the bathroom or while having sex, the behaviour is not unique to younger people.

The survey found that 78 per cent people aged between 35 to 51 check their phone in the toilet, as do 53 percent of people aged between 52 to 70.

Including all three age categories, the survey found that 69 percent of adults check their phone while using a toilet, with 59 percent of these people doing so on a daily basis.

Of the 1,137 people questioned, over a quarter (27 percent) admitted to feeling some level of fear or anxiety when left without their phone. This rises to 30 percent when their phone has no cell service. 

Almost three-quarters said they sleep with their smartphone either on or next to their bed at night. Those who sleep with their phone nearby were twice as likely to admit they feel fear or anxiety when away from the device. 

Alarmingly, these people are also twice as likely to say they are "somewhat dissatisfied with their lives", the survey claimed.

A fifth of respondents (19 percent) said the habit of regularly checking their phone affected relationships with their family, while nine percent said doing so had an effect on relations with work colleagues.

Over a third (35 percent) said they believed that looking at their phone before bed affects their quality of sleep, with almost half claiming they wake up two to three times during the night.