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Being an entrepreneur has never sounded as glamorous as it does in the 21st century. You can consider business owners modern-day rock stars. Living their dream lifestyle and earning more money than they’ll ever need.

Who wouldn’t want the comfort of working from home? Being able to work when it’s convenient for you, and charge your own rate.

The benefits of owning a business and being your boss are endless. However, nobody tells you about the other side of entrepreneurship- how much havoc it can wreak on your health.

Owning a business should not involve taking health risks. Not just your physical health, but your mental health as well. While we don’t expect Jeff Bezos to tell us about his terrible sleep schedule, studies have shown that owning a business will put you at risk of health problems.

Some of these studies include a 2014 study by the Journal of Business Venturing which found that entrepreneurs show signs of behavioral addiction.  Another one is a study carried out by the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine which found that entrepreneurs are more likely to be diagnosed with heart disease.

More health problems that business owners are at risk of include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Isolation
  • A sedentary life

So how can you make sure you’re physically and mentally ready for running a business before you start one? And for those of you who already run a business, how can you make sure you’re not trading your health for money?

Here are 5 tips to help ward off health hazards that come with running a business:

1.  Make Sleep a Priority

Sleeping

There are periods you will not get the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep, it’s unavoidable. However, you shouldn’t be the kind of person who’s built a system of running on a few hours of sleep for weeks on end.

Sleep deprivation leads to serious health conditions like diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, and even stroke.

To improve your chances of getting more sleep at night you need to make your sleep a priority. Put away all gadgets at least one hour before bedtime because it affects your pineal gland. This simple act will positively impact your sleep pattern and eliminate the need to count sheep at night.

Blue light filters for laptops like Iris are also recommended to improve the quality of your sleep. Blue light glasses are just effective in filtering out the blue light emitted from mobile devices and your laptop.

Finally, invest in a comfortable mattress. It will help in improving the quality of your sleep by reducing stress and uplifting your mood.

2.  Spend Less Time Sitting

The average entrepreneur’s workspace involves an office with a desk and chair where they sit on a computer for hours. Because entrepreneurs work longer hours than regular employees, it’s no surprise that some people can spend up to 12 hours sitting. Not only is that a lot of sitting, but it is also dangerous.

One way to solve the menace of a sedentary lifestyle is to invest in a standing desk. Take regular breaks to get up and move around after hours of sitting. Invest in a speaker to use during long conference calls so you can go on walks during them.

3.  Remember You’re not an Island

Isolation is an inescapable part of running a business. With remote work overtaking traditional 9-5 jobs, more people are opting for home offices. This leaves us glued to our screens and away from human interaction for hours on end.

Remember that humans are social beings that need hugs, handshakes, and physical contact in general. A solution to isolation is to make face-to-face interaction a part of your business model. Organize workshops and attend set up in-person meetings with your clients.

You can also spend more time with friends and family, especially during the weekends and holidays. Go camping, set up picnics, or join sports clubs. The choice is yours.

4.  Eat Healthier

Healthy Breakfast

We all partake in junk food occasionally, but for some reason, budding entrepreneurs are more focused on building a sustainable business and not a sustainable lifestyle. The result is a life fuelled by unhealthy amounts of junk food. Diabetes, fatigue, and obesity are only a few of the downsides of not eating healthy.

When you’re just starting a business, your body is going to undergo an intense amount of stress. It needs you to be healthier more than ever. Eat more fruits and vegetables. Cut down on soda and caffeine. Drink more water and herbal tea.

5.  See a Doctor

Not everyone likes going to the doctor’s, but following everything on this list and refusing to get checked up could ruin your good efforts. Regularly seeing a doctor can help you detect underlying health problems before they become an issue.

And we advise you to check on all aspects of your health. This involves dentist appointments, gynecology sessions, and everything in between. Trust us, a cavity no matter how small will ruin your day and hinder your productivity.

Conclusion

The health concerns discussed don’t only apply to entrepreneurs but to intrapreneurs as well- a person who is an employee but applies entrepreneurial skills to their tasks in an organization.

We’ve seen that poorly managing your health puts you at risk of not only physical ailments but mental illnesses as well.

Fortunately, these risks can be reduced with simple changes in our habits like eating healthier, socializing more, and getting enough sleep.

Don’t just be the CEO of a business, be the CEO of your health too. Your body will thank you for it.

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