Commuters burdened with mobiles, iPods and Blackberrys

£500 of gadgets keep them entertained when the train is late

£500 of gadgets keep them entertained when the train is late

The average commuter is weighed down with more than £500 worth of gadgets on the way to work, including mobile phone, iPod and Blackberry devices.

Nearly all (98 per cent) of commuters travelling into London carry a mobile phone, almost half carry an MP3 player, a third tout a Blackberry and one in eight lug a laptop to work, according to research commissioned by Woolworths.

Woolworths spokeswoman Nicole Lander said the pressure to stay in touch with the office combined with the need to improve the work-life balance were fuelling the boom in mobile technology.

"You often find that City workers will use their phone and organiser on their way into work to get ahead of the game but relax with a good book or a portable DVD player on the journey home," she said.

Of the 3,500 rail commuters from London and the Home Counties quizzed, over half said their mobile was their most important companion on their commute, followed by a newspaper (29 per cent) iPod (8.6 per cent) and Blackberry (8.3 per cent).

Earlier this week a poll of silicon.com readers revealed nearly three-quarters of respondents regularly carry at least three gadgets about their person, with one in five admitting to carrying at least four.

But some students at Duke University, will be carrying a few less gadgets this autumn. The US college, which last year handed out iPods to all new students, will this year dish them out only to students on courses where the teacher has requested the digital music players.

Last year Duke gave out 1,600 20GB iPods to students and 600 of these students signed up for courses which required them to use the devices.