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Operator’s Perspective: Link Between Health And Business


April 1, 2008
By Lio Prataviera

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It’s obvious that for athletes, what they do and how they do it are
linked to the physical condition they are in. But this idea of keeping
in good physical condition should also extend into every part of our
lives, especially in regard to business.

lio-pratavieraIt’s obvious that for athletes, what they do and how they do it are linked to the physical condition they are in. But this idea of keeping in good physical condition should also extend into every part of our lives, especially in regard to business.

Whether your work requires considerable physical exertion, or if you sit working at a computer all day, your physical health has everything to do with how well you do what you do.

I recently read an article that stressed the connection between a business owner’s physical health and the health of their business. The vitality and growth of the business was entirely dependent on the owner’s health. At first I thought that there was no connection at all, or that this was an exaggeration, but then after thinking about it for a while it did begin to make sense.  There’s simply no way to escape the fact that business performance is linked with one’s own physical condition, and if you’re run-down, tired or mentally stressed, these factors present a direct threat to your business.

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Your physical health, whether you suffer from migraines, arthritis, back pain, or some type of chronic condition that distracts you from your day-to-day activities (particularly if you’re a small business that is a hands-on operation like most of us), places pressure on the vitality of your business operations. Every physical or mental distraction takes away from the concentration required not only to accomplish standard tasks and duties, but also serves to diminish the creative juices essential to growth and innovation.

It’s really very simple: People who are more consistently healthy get a lot more done, often more quickly and with fewer mistakes or setbacks. People whose health is compromised in some way are often less efficient, more so in the long term. This is a troubling development because it’s often difficult to recognize from a day-to-day perspective.

health&business
We all know that when you are feeling under the weather with a cold or back pain, the mind is also affected; often feeling like it’s full of ‘cobwebs’ and we are unable to concentrate fully. These health pressures, most especially mental, might make us less personable or friendly as well as less efficient. Furthermore, personal problems, family issues or other distractions in our life, also take their toll physically, compromising our ability to achieve the important tasks at hand, especially if we let them crowd out our ability to concentrate.

So much attention and energy goes towards trying to grow and build the business, making it only natural to focus away from ourselves. We should be taking care of ourselves as well, because in reality our businesses will benefit. Making time in a busy day for physical activity, paying attention to what we eat, making sure we are getting enough sleep, and getting a yearly physical, are all vital steps to maintaining a healthy mind and body.

As for our mental health, removing the focus from business at any opportune time often has a re-energizing effect, reminding us of why we work so much. Taking time for things that have nothing directly in common with work such as family, vacations or hobbies are just as good as a rest. You may say that there “aren’t enough hours in the day” to do all these things and still attend to business, how-ever the key is always to keep it simple; you can incorporate the hobby with family time or vacation time, and more often than not this time also could include exercise or at the very least a lot less stress.

You could even go one step further and sign up for self-improvement courses or groups such as joining a Toastmaster club to develop your public speaking abilities. Plus there’s reading books, attending seminars or volunteering to help with local community projects. If it helps you, it helps your business.

As we all know, mental and physical health are completely interrelated, with one directly affecting the other. Both affect the ultimate health of your business. The thinking is simple: look after your business by looking after yourself. The core strength of a business is its people … and the business can only be as strong as the people behind it.

Lio Prataviera is the general manager of Real Refreshments, a full-service snack and refreshment vending company. For questions or comments about this article, e-mail Lio at vending@annexweb.com.