Learning how to blow bubbles is one of those childhood rites of passage, like whistling or riding a bike. But by the time we reach adulthood, we're not normally chewing bubble gum, but the kind that freshens breath. That gum isn't ideal for blowing bubbles, so some people resort to snapping, or popping it instead. Much like nail biting or hair twisting, gum snapping can become an unconscious behavior used to relieve stress or boredom. However, there are some positives of gum chewing. Researchers found that it made people focus better on tests of mental agility for about 20 minutes [source: Lehrer].
Maybe that's why some people do it at work. The problem is, the endless popping sound can be so distracting for the people around you that they may be tearing their hair out or even complaining to their human resources manager. If you're a gum-snapper, think about why you're doing it and find a quieter way to deal with that emotion. If you're worried about bad breath, stock up on mints or keep a toothbrush at work.