We chat with two small business owners.

Running a small business and its impacts on health

We wanted to find out how running a small business can impact people’s health -- from stress levels to lifestyle choices.

So what did we find? According to data from the Medibank Better Health Index, small business owners are almost 6% more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression, and 15% more likely to suffer from stress, when compared to all other workers.

What’s more, small business owners were found to consume far more alcohol each week, drinking a whopping 18.71 drinks, compared to all other workers, at 10.51 drinks on average. Those who own a small business also recorded a slightly higher average Body Mass Index – putting them further into the overweight category – at 28.4, compared to all other workers, at 27.0.

To get more insight into what it’s like to run a small business and how it can impact your health, we recently caught up with Crusader from Melbourne bookstore and cafe, Hares and Hyenas, and Louise from children’s postal business Honey & Co Club. Unsurprisingly, both Crusader and Louise agree that running a small business is no easy feat. A combination of ongoing pressure, late nights, and at times inconsistent cash flow can have consequences for your health and wellbeing – both physically and mentally.

So, what was their advice for other small business owners? Always ask for help when you need it, try not to take things too seriously, and take whatever steps you can to maintain a positive attitude, even when things are at their most stressful – whether that’s through exercise, or just a simple coffee break to ‘refresh and regroup’ before getting back into it.

Want more advice on staying healthy at work? Read Dr Kevin Cheng's tips on how to have a better work day.