Checking a Facebook or Twitter account may be more tempting than sex and cigarettes, according to a new study.

Researchers at Chicago University's Booth Business School used BlackBerrys to record participants' willpower and desires over a week in a new study, soon to be published in the journal Psychological Science.

Investigators conducted an online poll of 250 participants in Germany and found that the desire to interact with others through tweets, photos and comments was stronger than sex and cigarettes.

Researchers messaged participants seven times a day over 14 hours for a week. Participants were then required to message back to report whether they were experiencing a desire at the moment or had experienced an urge within the last 30 minutes.

Lead author Wilhelm Hofmann believes that social media may be harder to resist because they are more readily accessible than other stimulants.

Hofmann also noted that social media may be more alluring than drugs because they are cheaper than alcohol and cigarettes.

"Desires for media may be comparatively harder to resist because of their high availability and also because it feels like it does not cost much to engage in these activities, even though one wants to resist," Hofmann said, according to the Guardian.

Researchers found that the more people tried to resist doing something, the greater their desire to do so.  

Investigators also found that people were addicted to work and that work was harder for people to resist than sports, sex and spending money.