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Add better health to the list of benefits of running your own business, new research shows.
A study by Gallup discovered that U.S. entrepreneurs are less likely than other workers to have ever been diagnosed with chronic health problems, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity.
A contributing factor to the improved health is the exercise and eating habits of entrepreneurs, which the research believes stems from the discipline and energy needed to start and run a business.
Specifically, the study found that those who own their own business are more likely than other employed adults to exercise frequently and eat fruits and vegetables regularly.
Since self-employed adults have the ability to set their own schedules, the research concludes that they may have more flexibility to exercise and plan healthy meals than those who work for an employer.
The study discovered that business owners are healthier overall despite sometimes lacking basic health-care necessities. One in four entrepreneurs don't have health insurance, compared with just 10 percent of other workers. In addition, they are more likely than other employed adults to have had times in the past year when they did not have enough money to pay for the health care or medicine that they or their families needed.
While the reason for the difference in health-care access is not clear, Gallup researchers said it could either reflect the high cost of health insurance for individuals and small business owners, or a greater willingness on the part of entrepreneurs to accept the risks inherent in not having health insurance.
The research, part of the Gallup Healthways Well-Being Index, was based on surveys of 273,175 adults, of which nearly 7,000 were defined as entrepreneurs.