• Tue, Dec 20 2011

Being A Small Business Owner May Be Bad For Your Health

Watch out small business owners. Your work may be causing you to get fat and irritable. Small businesses are doing well this year but it may be at the risk of their owners’ health, according to new research. The latest Manta SMB Wellness Index shows that new business activity was up more than 12% in the third quarter of 2011, compared to the same time last year.But almost half of respondents (44%) say this year’s business climate has taken a toll on their personal health–one in three say they work out less, 22% say they’ve gained weight and 14% say they are more short-tempered and argue with family and co-workers.

In addition, Manta’s survey found that most small business owners (63%) averaged more than 40 hours a week at work, while nearly 1 in 10 report their average work week was upwards of 70 hours. The Manta SMB Wellness Index is a quarterly index on the state of small business released by Manta, the largest online community dedicated entirely to small business.

These statistics should be taken seriously especially by women. An estimated 8.1 million women-owned businesses that contribute $1.3 trillion to the national economy and employ 7.7 million people.  Private U.S. companies that were either founded by women or have a woman CEO posted annual revenue of $82.7 million on average. This is nearly twice as much as what these companies were producing in 2009.

It is very tough to run a company, especially in its beginning stages.  There is really no end of the work day. In fact,  about 70% of small business owners say they expect to work more this holiday season than they did last year. Among the other findings is the sad fact that only 14% of business owners said they planned on taking a “true” vacation where they could completely unplug from work. Not having a vacation can certainly take a toll on one’s health. As Elaine Kunda, the CEO of Grindstone parent company B5 Media, has said, running a startup is “not a job…it’s a disruption.”

On the upside, when small business owners do get away from their office they are enjoying their time; 45% say their business has had a positive impact on their personal life. Small business owners say they’re happier (31%), have more time for family and friends (15%) and even report that their marriages have improved (8%).

Not that you should put your health in jeopardy, but if you are passionate about your work than there are obviously going to be a few trade-offs. But read about how to incorporate exercise into your life when you work 1,000 hours a week here. According to research from the University of Bristol, people who exercise on work days are more productive, happier and suffer less stress than on non-gym days: 72% reported improvements in time management on exercise days compared to non-exercise days, 79% said mental and interpersonal performance was better on days they exercised and 74% said they managed their workload better. You can’t work less but you can figure out how to incorporate more exercise into your life.

Photo: dean bertoncelj/Shutterstock.com

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