Running a business can damage your health

Small business owners are working excessively long hours, not taking breaks, eating the wrong food and not getting enough exercise and generally endangering their health, according to a recent survey.

Small business owners are working excessively long hours, not taking breaks, eating the wrong food and not getting enough exercise and generally endangering their health, according to a recent survey.

Small business owners are working excessively long hours, not taking breaks, eating the wrong food and not getting enough exercise and generally endangering their health, according to a recent survey.

Research from Bibby Financial services reveals that 44% of small business owners are working more than 50 hours a week, with half of those putting in more than 60. This leaves little time for exercise and healthy eating.

Moreover, nearly two-thirds of UK owner/managers work through their lunch break and even those who do down tools remain in the office rather than getting some fresh air. When it comes to eating, a fifth of respondents plumped for fast food over salad while a quarter appear to think lunch is for wimps, deciding to go without altogether.

And the tale of woe continues with almost half of business owners eschewing the gym or other exercise in favour of work commitments, while a further 14% never exercise at all.

‘By working smarter and learning to delegate and outsource non-core business activities where possible, owners and managers can maintain a more healthy balance between life inside and outside the office,’ comments David Robertson, Bibby chief executive.

‘While every entrepreneur dreams of business success it’s impossible to put a price on health, and ultimately, business owners and managers who are fit for the challenge both mentally and physically are those who will have the stamina to lead their business through the busy growth periods and provide the ideas and inspiration behind success,’ he concludes.

It’s not just bosses who appear to be overdoing it, as another survey from recruitment firm Portfolio Payroll shows more than two-thirds (68%) of employees are failing to take a summer holiday because of work pressures. This is up from 58% in 2000.

‘Work-related stress is a growing problem in the workplace,’ says Danny Done, managing director of Portfolio Payroll. ‘Taking time out on holiday is a proven method to invigorate and galvanise employees, leaving them refreshed and motivated.’

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