Better Health Makes For Better Business

by Alexandra Williams on January 31, 2011

Nerdercise Fitness training (underpants optional)

A healthy you makes for a healthy business

Many excellent articles have been written here, sharing tips and ideas for having a healthy business. And it occurred to me that one essential component of a healthy business is a healthy owner.

A fit person can function without a business, but a business cannot function without a fit owner!

I know I sometimes get so wrapped up in all the work I need to do on my business that I spend too long sitting at the computer, or worrying, or working too late when I should be sleeping, or eating processed food because it’s supposedly faster and easier.

Of course, what does that do but lead to a cranky, tired, stressed, sedentary overeater?

But does that really affect the efficiency and output of your business? Face it – it’s common to operate like this, and the company is doing just fine, right?

(And now you are conjuring up memories of really overweight successful business owners you’ve known, aren’t you?)

But I didn’t say “overweight,” in any case – I said “healthy” and “fit.” Being overweight is usually a byproduct of an unhealthy lifestyle.

A healthy lifestyle includes activity, proper eating habits, and a clear mind. So – Move, Eat Right, Chill! Ways to do that are addressed in my blog, so let’s consider here the business benefits of creating a healthy lifestyle for yourself:

Improved cognitive functioning.

Exercise increases the flow of oxygen to the brain, which leads to better acuity and memory.

Increased energy.

Not only will you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly, but the “good” sleep you’ll get will just be part of an overall energy level boost.

More time.

For every hour of regular exercise, life expectancy may increase by two hours (American Heart Association). You can use those extra hours for lunch meetings!

Improved presentation/public face.

It may seem obvious, but with exercise you gain confidence, enthusiasm, optimism and self-image. And strength training (for the back in particular) improves posture, which makes you look taller, slimmer and more confident.

Save on expenditures.

Obesity costs women $4,879 annually, and men $2,646, while being overweight costs women $524 and men $432 (George Washington University 2010). This factors in sick days, lost productivity, short-term disability, ER care, extra gasoline and the fact that larger women earn less than thinner women.

Improved attitude.

With regular exercise, you can relieve tension, anxiety, depression and anger. As physical activity becomes part of your regular routine, you will note an improved feeling of well being.

It just makes good business sense to be healthy.

Here are some final stats from the American Heart Association to get your giddy up and going:

  • Employers can save $16 for every $1 they spend on health and wellness.
  • Fitness programs have reduced employer health care costs by 20-55%.
  • Reducing just one health risk increases productivity by 9% and absenteeism by 2%.

So take some small steps today to create big savings for your business and a wealthier, healthier you!

More from Women Grow Business:

Image: Alfie Dennen via Flickr, Creative Commons

Alexandra Williams, MA, co-writes Fun and Fit: Q and A with K and A, a humorous fitness blog with her twin sister, Kymberly, in the hope that readers will laugh themselves into a fit state. Together they speak at events, on the radio and in public rest stops. Alexandra is a contributing editor and writer for IDEA Fitness Journal, and teaches in the exercise sports studies department at UC Santa Barbara. Talk to Alexandra on Twitter, where she goes by @Alexandrafunfit.

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