Published on November 16th, 2012 | by No Artificial
Entrepreneurs May Be Healthier
Better health appears to be one of the benefits of being an entrepreneur in America, a new study finds.
According to a new report from Gallup, entrepreneurs are less likely than other employed adults
to report having chronic health problems such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes and they are much less likely to be obese — 19% vs. 25% — than other people.
People who go into business for themselves are also more likely to lead healthy and balanced lifestyles than other employed adults; they exercise frequently (60% vs. 54%) or eat fruits and vegetables regularly (61% vs. 55%) and are more likely to say they ate healthy all day “yesterday” (67% vs. 61%).
“One possible explanation for these differences may be that the discipline and energy needed for entrepreneurs to start and run their own businesses may also drive them to exercise and eat fruits and vegetables regularly,” the Gallup researchers have claimed. “Alternatively, self-employed adults have the ability to set their own schedules and, thus, may have more flexibility to exercise and plan healthy meals than those who work for an employer.”
However, smoking rates were about equal among entrepreneurs and other U.S. workers.
While entrepreneurs have lower chronic disease rates, they may be more likely to have negative health outcomes from these diseases because they often lack access to the healthcare and medicine needed to treat them. It is possible that when the main factors of the Affordable Care Act — including the individual mandate and insurance exchanges — go into effect in 2014, entrepreneurs may become more likely to be able to afford preventative healthcare and medicine. But, until then, those creative individuals who create jobs, launch new products, and innovate — may be precariously placed to deal with certain health issues if and when they occur.
These findings are based on more than 273,175 interviews conducted Jan. 2, 2011-Sept. 30, 2012, with American adults as a part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. Gallup classified 6,896 of these participants as entrepreneurs if they self-identified themselves as both “self-employed” and as a “business owner.”
To find out how leaders can best support the health and wellbeing of entrepreneurs, read “Attracting Entrepreneurs to Your City” in the Gallup Business Journal.