Entrepreneurs Are Healthier, Report Finds

People who go into business for themselves may be healthier than other workers, according to a new report from Gallup.

The report shows that entrepreneurs are less likely to have chronic diseases like diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity and high blood pressure compared to other workers.

Entrepreneurs are also more likely to lead healthy lifestyles than other workers, such as eating produce at least four times a week and exercising on a regular basis, according to the findings.

"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 wrote in the report. "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, the report also showed that entrepreneurs are more likely to be uninsured, less likely to go to the dentist every year and more likely to have a hard time being able to afford health care or medicine. They are also slightly more likely to smoke than other workers -- 19 percent compared with 18 percent.

The report's findings are based on data from 273,175 interviews that took place between Jan. 2, 2011, and Sept. 30, 2012. Of those people, 6,896 were classified as "entrepreneurs" (meaning they were either a business owner, or self-employed).

For health conditions, the researchers found that 19 percent of entrepreneurs surveyed in the report were obese, compared with 25 percent of other workers; 12 percent of entrepreneurs had high cholesterol, compared with 16 percent of other workers; 15 percent had high blood pressure, compared with 18 percent of other workers; and 4 percent had diabetes, compared with 5 percent of other workers.

And for healthy habits, researchers found that 60 percent of entrepreneurs reported exercising for at least a half-hour three times a week, compared with 54 percent of other workers. Sixty-one percent of entrepreneurs said they eat five servings of produce at least four times a week, compared with 55 percent of other workers; and 67 percent of entrepreneurs said they ate healthy "all day yesterday," compared with 61 percent of other workers.

Before You Go

It Keeps You Out Of Poverty

5 Reasons Work Is Good For Your Health

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